Nobody Drinks Wine Like...Massachusetts!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Only one problem: That's not Massachusetts
California Pinot Noir and Chardonnay producer Red Car Wine sent an email yesterday announcing they've received their Massachusetts shipping permit and are on the list of wineries that can ship to Massachusetts. Only problem was the email featured a picture of the great state of Michigan.

They quickly followed up with a corrected version with pitch-perfect humility saying "That last email sure shows how little we've shipped to your state." Pretty funny.

Ironically I probably wouldn't have looked at the first email a second time, so the mistake works to their advantage. By correcting the email in a genuine human way it was better than if the first email didn't have a mistake.
That's better!
It reminded me of the Simpson's episode where the Spinal Tap lead singer tapes the name of the town he's playing in so he can be sure not to bungle the "Nobody Rocks Like..." line he surely repeats in every town.
Nobody Drinks Wine Like...Massachusetts!
Mistakes aside, Red Car is a prime example of a terrific producer that we can now have shipped directly to us. I first discovered their wines after Wine Spectator rated their 2007 Red Car Heaven & Earth Pinot Noir a whopping 97 points. I tracked down a precious few bottles at Lower Falls Wine Company and thought it was terrific:

2007 Red Car Heaven & Earth La Boheme Pinot Noir

I thought this wine was tremendous and it's showing beautifully at this point in time. Vibrant and intense with red raspberry aromas and flavors on top of other typical CA Pinot Noir markers (strawberries, cherries, a little earth, silky smooth tannins). Incredible depth of flavor and length of finish. Up a couple points from the last bottle I tried over a year ago. Drink now but hold if you'd like more secondary characteristics to further develop.

95/100 WWP: Classic

I subsequently met with their lead sales guy when he was in Boston for Cochon 555. I visited their cool/funky tasting room in 2013. Great producer. The bold fruit-forward style of the Heaven & Earth bottling is a bit of a head-fake. Most of their wines are more restrained.

Having ready access to wines like these directly from the winery, delivered directly to our homes/offices is terrific. Sure, some of these are available at retail here in Massachusetts. And sometimes at great prices (with free local pick-up). But if you want to develop a persistent relationship with your favorite producers we now have that capability.

But what I'm finding personally is I need to be even more selective than ever. If I went out and placed a big order with every winery I like that can now ship here I'd go broke and have even more wine than I already do, which is more wine than I already need. If you've been playing this game for a while you know: It's really easy to over-buy. Especially if you consistently order your full allocation from the same few wineries year after year.

So I'm taking my time. Picking and choosing the best combinations of wineries I'm familiar with. That I consistently enjoy. That deliver great products that are worth as much or more to me than I pay for them. And work with consumers on shipping to make the fully loaded costs a win win for them and for us.

Question of the Day: What has been your approach to buying now that wineries can ship to Massachusetts? Has it changed your purchase patterns signicantly? Where are you finding the best value?

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