Episode 274 of I’ll Drink to That has been released, and features Andrea Fassone of Enotria Wine Imports, an importer of small production wines from all over Italy.
Andrea focuses mostly on Italian wines for import, and one of the topics discussed is the rise of the previously less well known regional wines of Italy in the last decade and a half, as opposed to the more well known appellations from the more well known areas. One of the interesting aspects of the discussion was the idea that the increased sales of such wines in the American market has been driven by more consumer interest resulting from a new generation of chefs debuting more regionally focused menus, but that it has also been driven by small importers entering the market and needing to find wines for a good price that were not already represented by another importer. In a way, this is an interesting observation about why market change happens: the rise of regional wines from Italy in relation to the rise of small importers and the realization that many times one winery is only going to have one American importer. As more importers have entered the market they are being obliged to look further afield.
This interview is one of several that relates the beginning of a small wine business to the start of a recession, which is somewhat counterintuitive but holds true across several interviews, and also explores the idea of whether small Italian importers mostly sell to Italian ex-pat restauranteurs or if their market is a broader one.
I’ll Drink to That is the world’s leading wine podcast, hosted by Levi Dalton. Levi has had a long career working as a sommelier in some of the most distinguished and acclaimed dining rooms in America. He has served wine to guests of Restaurant Daniel, Masa, and Alto, all in Manhattan. Levi has also contributed articles on wine themes to publications such as The Art of Eating, Wine & Spirits magazine, Bon Appetit online, and Eater NY. Check out his pictures on Instagram and follow him on Twitter: @levi_opens_wine