I always encourage my students to “buy by the back label,” that is, to look at the back label on any wine bottle to see who the importer is. For novice wine tasters in particular, I advise students to take a list of well-informed importers into a wine store and ask the merchant “Do you have any wines from any of these importers?” Once you begin connecting importers’ names to wines you love, it's like shopping with a personal sommelier. Many of them have excellent and informative web sites, worth a tour on their own. Here’s a list of my preferred companies importing wines from France to the United States.
Eric Solomon – Specializing in wines from Spain and France, including Clos Chanteduc Côtes-du-Rhône; and Domaine de la Janasse and Domaine de Marcoux in Châteauneuf-du-Pape.
(704) 358 1565 | www.europeancellars.com | firstname.lastname@example.org
Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant – Specializing in wines from Italy and France, including Auguste Clape in Cornas; Domaine Coche-Dury and Antoine Jobard in Burgundy; and Mas Champart in the Languedoc.
(510) 524 1524 | www.kermitlynch.com | email@example.com
North Berkeley Wine – Specializing in wines from Chile, Italy, and France, including Le Cos du Caillou and Clos du Mont Olivet in Châteauneuf-du-Pape; Martinelle in Beaumes de Venise; and Domaine la Bouïssière in Gigondas.
(510) 848-8910 or (800) 266-6585 | www.northberkeleyimports.com | firstname.lastname@example.org
Christopher Cannan – Specializing in wines from Spain, Portugal, Italy, Hungary, and France, including Château des Tour in Vacqueyras; Vieille Julienne and Château Rayas in Châteauneuf-du-Pape; and Domaine Anne Gros in Vosne Romanée.
(818) 908-9509 | www.europvin.com | email@example.com
Louis/Dressner Selections – Specializing in wines from throughout Europe, including Oratoire Saint Martin and Domaine Marcel Richaud in Cairanne; Château d’Oupia in Minervois; and Jean Thévenet/Domaine de la Bongran in Burgundy.
(212) 334-8191 | www.louisdressner.com | firstname.lastname@example.org
Robert Kacher – Specializing in wines from Portugal, Argentina, and France, including Domaine Santa Duc in Gigondas; Domaine Michel and Stéphane Ogier and Domaine Jamet in Côte-Rôtie.
(212) 239 1275 | www.robertkacherselections.com | email@example.com
Kysela Père et Fils – Specializing in wines from Australia, New Zealand, the United States, Argentina, and Europe, including Domaine Grand Veneur and Domaine de la Mordorée in the southern Rhône.
(540) 722 9258 | www.kysela.com | firstname.lastname@example.org
Martine’s Wines – Specializing in wines from France, including Château Rayas in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Château de Fonsalette in the Côtes-du-Rhône; Château des Tours in Vacqueyras; and Domaine Georges Vernay in the Northern Rhône.
(415) 883 0400 or (800) 344-1801 | www.martineswines.com | email@example.com
Michael Skurnik – Specializing in wines from France, particularly those selected by Daniel Johnnes, who is also wine director for Daniel Boulud in New York City, with wines including Saint Préfert in Châteauneuf-du-Pape; Grange des Pères in the Languedoc; and Les Héritiers du Comte Lafon in Burgundy.
(516) 677 9300 | www.skurnikwines.com | firstname.lastname@example.org
Vineyard Brands – Specializing in wines from Chile, New Zealand, South Africa, Spain, Italy, and France, including a collection of wines from Château de Beaucastel in Châteauneuf-du-Pape and the southern Rhône; Dauvissat in Chablis; and Salon in Champagne.
(205) 980 8802 | www.vineyardbrands.com | email@example.com
Peter Weygandt – Specializing in wines from Austria, Australia, Germany, Italy, and France, including Domaine Gérard Charvin and Raymond Usseglio in Châteauneuf-du-Pape; and Daniel and Denis Alary in Cairanne.
(610) 486-0700 | www.weygandtmetzler.com | firstname.lastname@example.org