I have not been frequenting this market for long, but it is easy to see that the large wine stores and supermarket chains are sweeping aside the traditional wine shops. Many wine importers and shops, even historic ones, have failed or are going bankrupt; the front windows of wine shops are no longer representative of the business but have become only a small part of it. He who survives will be he who best caters to the customer, and especially online.
How is Italian wine perceived? Well, as usual, muddleheaded, but beautiful and fascinating. Despite which, Barolo, Chianti, and Pinot Grigio aside, they still don’t know us very well; France is more culturally present. If we set apart Italian restaurants, our wines represent 10-15% of the entire wine list of restaurants specializing in international cooking: a rather small percentage if one considers the number of our wine-producing regions. I learned that we need to take advantage of the fact that we are well-accepted everywhere, I understood that we need to be less muddleheaded; consortium and regional marketing is ever more important.
The fresh breeze and shy sun of the empty and fascinating town of Newbury relax me; I have no desire to return to the 36 degrees that await me in Italy. I take a look at the wonderful little town church, I observe a swan as it crosses the river, and I feel like part of the medieval Anglo Saxon dream and I think and think and think … I think that I have learned many things from this trip, but I realize that there is one thing I will probably never understand: the rules of cricket….