Sometimes deep thoughts keep me awake at night.
Like, if people in Guangzhou will eat anything with four legs except tables and chairs, as the saying goes, why haven’t more pigs and cows grown a fifth limb? And is this proof the theory of evolution is flawed?
Or, could we somehow combine the properties of cocoa and baijiu to create a candy bar that makes burps taste like chocolate for three days?
Or, what is the market potential for a chuanr-flavored chewing gum? Would it need to include meat? Should it come on a tiny stick?
My current deep thought is less profound: Why are so many China wine distributors unresponsive about issues they claim are urgent?
Case in point: Wine distributors tell me all the time they need more clients. But when I share contact details for a new bar or restaurant, these same companies fail to follow up more than half of the time.
You know who does follow up? That new bar or restaurant. The owner usually calls and asks why I didn’t give his or her details to any wine distributors, and that puts me in the painful position of apologizing.
It’s the same with Chinese wines. I often hear distributors say they need a local wine in their portfolio or, with a sigh after a tasting, that they wish they could stock this or that Chinese wine just tried. Connecting them to the winery usually ends the same as connecting them to a new bar or restaurant: no result.
A stunning example happened two months ago. A distributor held a tasting that included samples from a Chinese winery in which I played the middleman. To hear the owner, as I stood beside him, tell customers “it took a lot of time to track down these wines” was galling.
That was harsh. Because it didn’t take him any time. After a tasting, during which he lamented about the difficulty in getting Chinese wines, I connected him to the winery owner. I then followed up several times with nudges to both sides. Four months later, that tasting finally happened. Six months later, the wines are still not in the portfolio. And these are wines with which I have done over a dozen tastings and have had people ask where to buy them.
Anyway, that’s the deep thought at the moment. And I feel another one coming on, one that might solve the issue at hand. More on that in the morning…