Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Kermit who? Eric Asimov profiles the famous wine importer

Kermit Lynch was an innovator, ahead of his time. Kermit Lynch had, and still has, a very good palate. Kermit Lynch, for a wine importer and retailer, is an amazingly engaging writer, able to relate the smells, flavor and experience of travelling in European wine regions like few others can. Kermit Lynch is also, quite possibly, the most savvy promoter and salesman to have ever imported wine into the United States.

Eric Asimov's article dives into one primary aspect of Kermit's career: his ability to seek out the best producers in various French wine regions, and urge them to produce authentic wine, unfiltered and representative of how wines from specific terroirs should express themselves.

While Asimov's piece is well–written and informative, an enjoyable read for both the wine knowledgeable and others, it is also about someone who many folks reading Asimov already know. Why not write an article on the importance of a good importer, citing Kermit Lynch as a major influence, while briefly profiling other successful importers such as Joe Dressner, Terry Theise, and lesser known names as well. Though Asimov states that many wine drinkers check the back label to view the importer, I would argue that this is still a vast minority of shoppers. I wish that Asimov would have written an article focusing on the importance of the wine importer, instead of yet another piece on the ever popular, ever savvy Berkeley/Provence based importer, in a NEW YORK based newspaper no less? I know the Times is serving a national readership at this point, but still - why not shine the spotlight on other people?

HAPPY THANKSGIVING to Eric Asimov, Kermit Lynch, all quality oriented wine importers the world over, to all Old World Old School readers, friends and family.

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