Today’s issue of The Drinks Business included an article on seven consumer wine trends to watch in 2018. Number three on their list was the rise in popularity of wines in cans. There’s no doubting that this packaging offers many advantages to the traditional bottle. The biggest drawback has not been in the package itself, but what is IN the package.

Most wine in can offerings are uninspired at best, terrible at worst.

May we suggest Tangent Wines‘ two canned offerings? Their 2016 Rosé and 2016 Sauvignon Blanc are fresh, lively and complex. And while most canned wines are produced from sourced, bulk wines, Tangent’s offerings represent the only caned wines on the market that are produced from estate-grown grapes.

The Niven family pioneered the Edna Valley, having grown grapes there since 1970. The AVA – one of the coolest there is in California – provides winemakers with perfectly-ripe grapes while maintaining higher acids. No flabby wines these. The Tangent can offerings are seriously fun wines, that are perfect for the lake, the golf course, on a picnic, or your dining room table.

Happy Holidays From Négoce!

Dear Friends:

Five months ago we launched Négoce because we felt Minnesota deserved a better choice when it came to a full-book, mid-sized, independent wholesaler. To that end, we’ve assembled a world-class portfolio of beverages, most of which had never before been available in our State. To represent these offerings, we hired of team of veteran sales professionals and educators, each knowledgeable and respected within our industry. To be sure, launching such a ambitious enterprise has an element of risk, but I liked our odds. And, judging by the last five months of business, you do, too.

On behalf of the team here at Négoce, I would like to thank you for your outstanding support, both of ourselves and our portfolio. In a market deep in wholesale options, the fact that you have embraced us so soon and so fully is a truly humbling thing. Your belief and support of Négoce is something that we do not take lightly…or for granted.

As we move into 2018, we will be expanding on our efforts. January will see the addition of many new producers to our portfolio, each worthy of your consideration. We will also be ramping up our educational outreach efforts, providing you with ample opportunities to increase your knowledge on a wide range of topics related to our industry. We trust that you come to see Négoce as a valued addition to Minnesota, providing not only great products, but as a real partner, invested in improving our market in general, and your business in particular.

It is my hope that this email finds your stores busy and/or tables full. Thank you again for such a warm embrace of our fledgling business. We look forward to working with you in the New Year, and wish you every continued success.

Mahon Now Looks as Good as it Tastes!

Gin de Mahón is changing it’s label!
While we’ve a few cases of the original label left, we will soon be shipping bottles sporting this new look. New look, but same great Gin! 

Godspeed, Robert Mayberry

Back before there was Google, us wine lovers used to research things by reading books. And, if you happened to be a lover of Rhône wines living sometime before 1987, there really wasn’t a book that addressed your particular passion. It was in 1987 that a little-known educator by the name of Robert Mayberry published a book entitled, “Wines of the Rhône Valley: A Guide to Origins”. What it lacked in graphic appeal (really…who thought a Pepto-Bismol pink dust jacket would ignite sales?) it more than made up for in content.

Mayberry was the first wine writer to give producers in Rhône Valley a spotlight. He was encyclopedic in his tracking down details on most of the important (and not so) producers, including acreage, production techniques and tasting notes. His passion for the region was obvious even if you gave his book only a cursory glance, and his efforts won him the respect and affection from Rhône winemakers, including a knighthood from the French Ministry of Agriculture. Even upon its release the book was all but impossible to find. I had the good pleasure of meeting Professor Mayberry a few times, the last being, I believe, 1998 or 99. I treasure my copy of his book, and had Robert sign it the first time I met him.

Within a few short years of his book’s release, things began to heat up for Rhône wines (that I had a hand in making that happen remains a highlight of my career). I always wondered why Robert never published an updated edition of his book…and then I learned that he was suffering from MS, making it difficult (and, later in life, all but impossible) to transfer his notes to the written page.

Sadly, a new edition of Wines of the Rhône Valley will never be. On December 8th, Robert Mayberry passed away at the age of 79. Even if you never read the book, you should raise a glass tonight in his honor. And it better be a Rhône!


Thanks to my friend, Merritt Olson, who shared this graphic in her excellent blog. If you’re in the wholesale/supplier business, you should check it out –

This graphic pretty much sums up why I started Négoce.

WSJ Says We’re “Hot”!

What does Puebla, Mexico; Kuelap, Peru; Dundee, Scotland; Grenada; Madagascar; Montenegro; Shanghai, China; and La Rioja, Spain all have in common with Minneapolis? They’ve all been recognized by the Wall Street Journal as being one of the world’s hottest travel destinations for 2018.
Minneapolis was the sole U.S. city so honored, and specifically called out our restaurant scene for being one of the reasons we’re ‘hot’.
High praise indeed!

After The Fire

Here’s a nice video of Carole Meredith showing Wine Spectator’s MaryAnn Worobiec around her property on Mount Veeder. Carole and Steve were relatively lucky.

We are happy to report that Carole has agreed to visit the Minnesota market next Spring. While in town, she will share both her knowledge of grapevine genetics AND her incredible wines.

Speaking of the latter, we currently have all of the 2014s in stock. If you’ve not had the wines of Lagier Meredith Vineyard, you owe it to yourself to do so!

Thoughts & Prayers

This morning has us thinking of our friends and partners out West, dealing with yet another fire. Stay safe!

Envinate is Hot!

The winemaking quartet behind the Envinate label are crafting some amazing wines. We’re proud to have Envinate in our wine portfolio. Unfamiliar with them? We can change that. First, read this recent article in Punch (link below), and then talk to your Négoce rep.

How Envínate Became a Symbol of the New Spanish Wine

Les Amis du Vin

This is a business that is all about relationships. I first befriended Bob and Jim Varner back in 1994. At the time, they were brokers for a winery I was a manager at. 23 years later, we’re still partners…but now the roles have reversed somewhat. 🙂

The Varner boys have been crafting exquisite wines from Central Coast fruit for almost as long as I’ve known them, and their Foxglove label offers exceptional values. Don’t just take my word for it, Food and Wine Magazine just placed Foxglove Zinfandel at the top of their “Best $15 and Under Wines”. This follows last month’s issue that featured Foxglove Chardonnay as on of the “50 of the World’s Most Reliable, Inexpensive Wines”