“Why don’t you import wine yourself?” I’ve been asked this question a number of times, and I got to wondering why. My answer is sincere and always the same: because I don’t have to. Yet if I leave it at that, the person gets a puzzled look on their face and I realize I haven’t satisfied their curiosity.
You see, in order for someone to ask that question, it must be generally regarded that there is nothing finer than being a wine importer. It’s as if that is what every person who works in the wine industry aspires to do. It’s true the Dutch have a long history of being traders and merchants, particularly in wine. A quick internet search will show you that this has not changed much in the past 400 years. Only God and the Chamber of Commerce know how many wine importers there are in the Netherlands, but Holland’s Master of Wine Frank Smulders once told me there are “far too many.” There are importers specializing in virtually every wine producing region in the world, whether it be Australia, Hungary, Canada or India (who in the Netherlands drinks Indian wine?). more>>