Fine Wine Collections hunting Savagely for boutique Iberian wines


Barry  Savage at Wine Pleasures BMIC 2011Boston, USA based Barry Savage is a Buyer Meets Iberian Cellar veteran looking forward to another successful event this year in the Sitges, Spain.  Barry grew up on a winery in Australia and has always had an interest in wine, so five years ago Barry leveraged his 30+ years in the import/export business and started Fine Wine Collections, Inc., focusing initially on high quality boutique wines from Australia and New Zealand.  We were fortunate to speak with Barry about his views on Spanish wines and the BMIC event.  Below are his answers to our questions.

1. You attended the Buyer Meets Iberian Cellar workshop last year and we’re happy have you join us again this year, what is it about the workshop that keeps you coming back?

Firstly, the format is great.  It’s valuable to have the opportunity to meet one on one with Cellars from a number of countries and maximize the use of time in direct dialogue with each Cellar.  The large Trade Shows cannot match the value of this experience as too much time is lost moving between stands and discussions are in a rushed and impersonal environment.

Secondly, the winery tour that follows the workshop offers the opportunity to learn a great deal about boutique Spanish wines/wineries and enjoy their hospitality, as well as network with fellow trade specialists to share views on the business landscape in other countries.

2. How many other events to you attend each year and how do they compare with the BMIC workshop in terms of finding boutique Cellars?

I will attend approximately six events in 2012 in various locations of Europe and the USA. The BMIC is unique among them in the format and certainly the best among them in finding boutique cellars.  The quality of the Cellars is excellent at BMIC as they also see the benefit of the exclusive and personalized format, so the goals of importers and Cellers is well aligned.

3. You have been in the export business for over 30 years, what do you enjoy most about wine?

Fine Wines & More at Celler Partida Creus I enjoy the combination of the people and the very personalized  experience we are able to share together.  Having traveled many different countries, I have a particular appreciation for the boutique wineries, many of which are family owned.  Each vineyard offers an interesting terroir and history that makes the wines unique, and it is the challenge of the winemaker to use the climate in a way that will best develop their wines.  Thus, I enjoy finding the passionate winemaker who has an innate skill in bringing these elements together and sharing these hard to find wines with our clients in the USA.

4. The Buyer meets Iberian Cellar event is just a one week away, what do you hope to get out of this years event?

I expect to capitalize on previous opportunities I was fortunate to initiate with the 2011 Buyer Meets Iberian Cellar event.  I developed some great relationships with Cellars at last years event and look forward to building on those relationships this year.  Additionally, the current wine market in Spain is excellent and I look forward to sampling some top quality Spanish wines that are not yet available to consumers in the USA.

5. What do you find most interesting about Spanish wines and are there and particular varieties that you are partial to?

There are some valuable opportunities at the moment with Spanish wines in general.  I find the Tempranillo and Grenache blends very interesting as they bring out the best in both varietals.  These varietals are different products from what they were several years ago and are developing a following in the USA!  Grenache is a highly underestimated grape which is easy to drink any time of the year and well suited wine to the sweeter US palate.  Tempranillo, on the other hand, is an extremely unique and versatile grape that is exceptional to drink all by itself, but is also excellent when blended with other varietals like Merlot, Cabernet or Grenache.  For these reasons, I find the Tempranillo and Grenache among the most interesting, however, I also look forward to learning more about some of the white grapes like the Macabeo and Verdejo.