small wine shopIn this age of rampant consolidation in the wine industry, stories like Megan Krigbaum’s article in Punch give me hope that artisan wines will continue to flourish and become more available.

“There’s been a real rise in sommeliers that are into off-the-beaten-path regions and retailers that champion smaller producers,” says Eric Clemons, owner of Coeur Wine Co., which imports wines from France, Italy and Spain exclusively to New York and New Jersey. That these buyers are receptive to working with a large swath of suppliers—some sommeliers say they buy from 40 or 50 different importers in a year—is a sea change from the way things used to be, when restaurants and stores relied on just a few importers. The smartest buyers see the opportunity found in this diversity, despite the extra work.

It’s crucial that retailers are willing to put in the hard work to deal with many suppliers and distributors rather take the easy road and let big distributors dictate what you sell.

To maintain a vibrant wine culture we need this diversity. So support your local wine shop if they’re into ferreting out unusual wines.