Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Change directions

Sorry for lack of blogging here but I've decided that I can accomplish more by using my e-mail base to "blog". We will be sending out, at least weekly, info on wines, tastings, specials and whatever. Please contact me at salemwineimports@verizon.net to be added to list. Thanks to those of you who've read some of my blogs--I know it wasn't easy.
See you in e-mail land.


Thursday, October 16, 2008

Great Values

Well the market just fell another 700 pts and we're all broke. What to do? There are some things we cannot do without and these are called necessity's and you cannot tell me wine's not included. We can all cut back, however on the prices we pay. Most of you probably think that the place to go is not a small fine wine shop but, dear reader, that is where we disagree. Why? Because we offer many wines below market price because we know how to buy. Will you get Yellow Tail here? No. Kendall Jackson? No. But you will get great value from small producers that are fighting for market share and will offer a small store very low prices on volume. O.K. volume here is 10 to 15 cases not the 300 plus at chain stores but 15 is to Camille Cayron ( Who?) what 300 is to Yellow Tail. And the quality is, well, let me show you. Come in for a sample of any one of our SWI specials, such as Le Pas de la Beaume Cote du Rhone, Dacu Tempranillo, Sansilvestro Barbera, Secret de Campane, or Le Poule Blanche. All at or below $10. In the 10-15 dollar range we have Altos de la Hoya Monastrell, Bouchard Pinot Noir, Puydeval Cab. Franc. and many others. I guess the point is that you can rely on small shops to deliver high value in every price range. Doubt it? How about 05' Leonetti Sangiovese for $35.00. Try and beat that anywhere any place. Yes you have to pick and choose and the choices are limited but I think we can keep you happy with the 300 selections we have. Sorry for the advertisement but business is slow today.

Saturday, October 4, 2008


Well, like it or not were into Fall and beautiful day it is. Wine preference tends to go red or heavier whites along with the drop in temperature and we're gearing up for just that eventuality. Spain has been offering great value in white summer wines and they now give us exceptional fall-winter reds to enjoy at low prices. Three bargains to consider are: 1. 05 Vega Sindoa, 50% Cab and 5o% Tempranillo It shows deep purple colors with deep, riveting cherry, cassis finish with a touch licorice. Finishes dry and long. 2. Venta Mazzaron 05' Tempranillo from a small, relatively unknown region, Zamora, has a grapey richness with fleshy fruit and chocolate flavors. New world in style it finishes smoothly with a less drying finish. Pretty big here. 3. My personal favorite is back, the 06' Altos de la Hoya, Monastrell,from Jumilla. Incredibly complex for the price, it has medium body, nice fruit with an intriguing white pepper finish. All three under $15.00. Come and see the quality and value flowing out of Spain.
Were going to try something different this fall and winter---Delivery. Yes we will deliver to any Salem resident with 2 or more cases ordered.(within two days) Marblehead or Beverly will be 3 cases or a $15.00 charge for one or two cases. In this vein we will also offer a monthly sampler case with wines from around the world that are typical of a region. Twelve reds or a eight red four white mix will be put together for delivery or pick up. Prices per bottle will average $12.99 with some more or less expensive but a final case price of $156 normally will be $130. This month we feature a red case of 2 Bordeaux, Spanish Tempranillo, Greek Agiorgitiko, Carmenere from Chile, Argentine Malbec, Australia Shiraz, Ca. Cab and Ca. Petit Sirah, Sicilian Nero D'Avola, Chianti, and So. France Grenache. To pick up, call ahead with order and Credit card info. When in the neighborhood call on cell phone and we will bring out order as you pull up to curb. No parking necessary.
Have to mention the wine tasting event at The Lyceum last week. Cannot say enough about the quantity and quality of attendees. A full sell out at about 175 very (I don't want to use the word serious) interested and fun people made this an event to remember. The sales people presenting the wines said the same and mentioned it was one of the best they've been involved with. I am not patting myself on the back because the interest was generated by a great group of wine "students" who know how to appreciate wine drinking and enjoyment without the pretense and the great Lyceum venue. Way to go. We will consider another in Spring. Any interest?

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Grand Tasting

Hi from Church St. on a beautiful day before Labor Day. Would like to mention a very important event for Salem Wine Imports on Thurs. Sept. 25th at the Lyceum Restaurant from 6 until 10 pm. Co sponsored by The Salem Athaeneum and Historic New England we will have over 80 wines to sample along with light appetizers and live music. A few winery owners and winemakers will be in attendance to talk about and discuss their wines and methods and to answer questions. Silver Oak, Ch. Gloria, Bollinger, Pride Mtn, and just some of the great wines available to try that night. All wines will be discounted 20% for the event and will give everyone an opportunity to fill the cellar for the winter months at great savings.
We will be getting back to regular blogs after the tasting and I apologize for lack of info recently. I've been very busy working on particulars for the tasting but I do have a lot of stored up things to bring to you. One such point of information is, to me, one spectacular value from the value capital of France, the Cotes du Rhone. Had a chance to buy the final cases of Domaine Servans, 05 CDR and it is super. Weight without being weighty, flavors that broaden and deepen, and a beautiful mineral, leather, dried fruit finish that goes on and on. This wine is perfection to me and I think you will agree. Perfection, that is, for a $11.99
wine. Very limited, come and get it.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Geography and hang time.

Every day during the week sales people come in with wines to try and, hopefully sell. This is not a bad thing. Except for staying awake until closing, but it really is an exciting time for a wine "nut". I know, get a life but tasting wine from almost every corner of the world and the different styles and tastes is an incredible experience. The one thing that is , to me, readily apparent is the universal high quality. Do I like every wine? Certainly not but they are all worth the experience and most all are balanced and flavorful and worth consideration The "old world" have been praticing for hundreds of years and seems to have gotten it right most times.
That brings us to "new World" and their "experience" It didn't take much fooling around to know the Napa Valley was very good for Cabernet but they've wasted time and money trying Pinot Noir there. Time has shown that Carneros, Russian River and the more southern climes(Santa Barbera etc) make better Pinot's. Napa is too hot and the cooler regions allow for more hang time and consequently, better Pinot. Takes us off in a tangent but yes, the southern coast in Ca. is cooler than Napa and Sonoma, much further north. Why? The mountains. Up north of San Francisco the mountain's go north to south along the coast effectively stopping the cooling sea breezes and fog that delays ripening and dictates a longer "hang time" from reaching Sonoma or Napa. Below San Francisco the mountains go east to west allowing the afformentioned breezes to flow into the vineyards slowing the ripening and making better hang time and better Pinot. Why Carneros since it is located north of SF? Because its position close to San Francisco bay creates cooling fog most every night. With Pinot Noir, cooler is better---see Oregon So. Cal ,Burgundy,and New Zealand.
Those are my personal thoughts concerning quality and you, of course, may disagree. It makes the wine world go round.

Thursday, July 31, 2008


First of all I want to thank the few or the many who nominated us for "Best of North Shore", wine shop in the "North Shore" magazine. Although we did not get best from the magazine we got enough votes to be one of the "Readers Choice" best and the only one in Salem. Thanks. Next year the magazine will see it's error.
Just booked the "Lyceum" restaurant for our first annual "Salem Wine Expo" on Thurs., Sept. 25th. We hope to get winemakers, importers and maybe an owner or two, to be there. Regardless we will be pouring upwards of 100 wines from all around the world and all with SWI's guarantee of quality. Grazing food as well as some light entertainment will be there so we should have a great time. Please tell your friends and make it a night to remember in your wine life. We have decided to charge (ugh) for this event but only after much consideration concerning the need for "great" wines to be available. A modest $20 pre pay or $25 at the door. Further info will be forthcoming as more details. Thanks

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Rain, Rain go away

Seems like it's been raining for a week straight and I believe everyone is getting quite fed up with it. What to do? Well, you know what I'm going to recommend---Take home a different wine tonight and feel the excitement mount. Wash away those rainy day blues and experiment with a totally unknown entity. Expand you horizons. Well, I guess that's enough, but seriously, or semi-seriously wine experimenting is fun for the adventuresome and for people like myself who believe that it's better to be disappointed than bored. Buy a Brachetto from Piedmontese and after chilling a bit open and discover. Discover what? A sweet, sparkling, low alcohol red wine that is delightful alone or after dinner with chocolate or other sweet things. Will you appreciate a "sweet, sparkling red? If are open to new tastes, then yes, I believe you will. If you refuse to try sweet then try a Montefalco Rosso from Umbria that contains a bit of the Sagrantino grape and is dry and rich at the same time. Want something in between then step up to the incredible Zind Humbrecht, Herrenweg Gewurtztraminer from the 02' vintage. No one squeezes more flavor from a grape than ZH and you can darn near taste the sun even if you cannot see it.
Some ideas for a rainy day.