News Blog

Dry January, February Tastings, and more

| Windham Wines News

We have conceded Dry January, offering no tastings to help you achieve success with your resolutions but, . . . February begins with a tasting that is good for you– organic, biodynamic and natural wines. We celebrate the end of January, kicking off the new year’s events with a walk-around tasting of 25+ wines under $25 at New England House on Saturday, February 1st, from 2:00-4:30. The images in this email’s montage capture places, people and labels from some of the wines we’ll be sampling.

We are partnering with Kurt and Selma Johnson, at the New England House, as well as distributors Artisanal Cellars, Vermont Wine Merchants, and 802. These are the distributors that have curated their portfolios with family-owned wineries, farmed responsibly– often organic or biodynamic– and have built strong relationships with the producers despite the miles between the vineyards and Vermont. We are excited about this tasting, and Kurt is eager to provide us with some new expressions of his talent. Details below.

We have also scheduled tastings for South American wines (Feb. 22nd), women winemakers (March14th) and Spanish wines (May 16th). See our tastings calendar for details.

We are getting lots of questions about the impact of the trade barriers imposed by Trump in October, and the threat to increase both the number of countries affected and the amount of the tax applied. The original tax (called a tariff to make it sound like it is imposed on another country, but in fact the tax is applied to the import, so it is American importers who pay it) of 25% was applied specifically to imports from France, Spain, Germany and Great Britain. The next bludgeon of 100% may be imposed anytime (hearings closed on January 13th)– or not.

The biggest impact we are experiencing currently is that the supply of some wines has evaporated as importers choose not to risk ordering wine that they expect to sell at one price only to have their costs double when their containers land and they are assessed a tax of 100% of the value of the wine. When the market for those wines has been built on a consumer expectation of a cost of X, it is understandable that importers fear that consumers will not support those wines at a cost of 2X. We’ll be able to restock fewer wines for at least the next few months as uncertainty paralyzes the industry.

For a variety of reasons, reviewed by both Eric Asimov and Jason Haas, of Tablas Creek Vineyard, the tax is unlikely to result in greater sales of domestic wines to substitute for the vacuum created by the absence of European wines.

Windham Wines is soldiering on. As always, we are grateful for your support.