by Markus Stolz

Wrong
presentation

byMarkus Stolz
August 20, 2009, 6 Comments
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I strolled around in Frankfurt, Germany, and went to the Kaufhof Galeria. Inside this Megastore is a wine shop, owned and operated by Kaufhof. I was pleasently surprised to be greeted by a large banner listing the countries the shop is offering wines from, as Greece was included. I went inside and was impressed: Large shelves filled with a great number of bottles were very well organised, with large signs for the different regions on top. The shop also offers top notch wines like Chateau d’Yquem, Ducru, Montrose etc. The selections on offer included many interesting labels. I just was not able to find the shelf with a sign for Greece. I had to ask one of the staff who pointed to the floor. There the selection of 5 Greek wines was to be found. The spot was so well hidden, that no-one is able to find it, if not falling down by accident. One had to really reach down in order to pick up a bottle. The offering? Two sweet wines, one from Samos and one from Patras, both of which are tricky, as sweet Greek wines have a tough image in Germany. The other three wines were from the two largest Greek producers, Boutaris and Tsantalis. Not bad wines in my opinion, well made, but without the extra “something special” that many of the smaller producers are nowadays able to produce.

It is just a shame that if a wine shop is finally opting to sell Greek wines, that they seem to be afraid to display them like all other wines. Why on earth would you hide something you want to sell? In addition, there are really exciting wines made in Greece, with just a little bit of extra effort, something more exciting could have reached the wine lovers in Frankfurt. The video is in German.

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About Markus Stolz

Over the last years, I have come to really appreciate Greek wines. There are many grape varieties that exist only in Greece and I have the good fortune of being able to try them all. I wish to share my enthusiasm with wine lovers around the world, who often limit themselves to maybe four red and four white grape varieties for most of their life.

  1. Lindsay MorrissAugust 20, 2009, 4:17 pm

    Sehr tolle Darstellung… auch wenn Sie nicht filmen durfen ;)

    I’ve become quite interested in Greek wines, particularly due to the tremendous diversity of these wines. They’re like hidden gems… and sadly, most are literally hidden in stores (as you’ve shown), if they appear at all. However, Rhode Island (where I’m from) does have a fairly substantial Greek population and I’ve been fortunate to discover a few liquor stores that have a decent assortment of Greek wines, as well as one well-known Greek restaurant in Providence that also offers a good selection. I believe the same can be said for the Boston region, as well.

  2. adminAugust 20, 2009, 4:35 pm

    Hi Lindsay,

    thanks for your comment. I am glad that you have been able to discover good assortments of Greek wines, unfortunately it is quite often a daunting task to find just that. I am working hard to raise the awareness level for Greek wines, and encourage any distributor/wine merchant who might be interested to get in touch with me. I totally agree with your on the tremendous diversity of these wines. BTW, nice entry line in German :)

  3. Kostas KatsoulierisAugust 26, 2009, 12:36 pm

    Herr Stolz,

    I am pleased somebody else has brought this subject up as it is central to the future of Greek Wine in the international market. I grew up in the UK and can remember the increased Greek wine selection at Oddbins (a big UK wine retailer) in the mid to late 1990s – sadly they have decreased the selection lately – yet no-one in this country seems to have taken notice of this fact. More surprisingly when I was in New Jersey back in 2005 I went to a very large wine store stocked with wines from all over the world (large French, Italian, Spanish and German selections). When I asked the store manager if he had any Greek wines he took me to a dusty corner of the store and showed me 2 bottles…one Demesticha and one Kourtaki Retsina – the completely worng type of wines to advertise the Greek wine industry… It appears there is a lack of coordinated action when it comes to marketing and education as well as an unwillingness to follow up on good reviews Greek wine has had recently from wine writers sch as Eric Asimov (New York Times), Jancis Robinson & Steven Spurrier. Thank you for a great blog! Aufwiedersehen KK

  4. adminAugust 26, 2009, 12:59 pm

    Herr Katsoulieres,

    thank you for your comment. I could not agree more with you. The effort by Oddbins was very good, but as you pointed out, the selection has been decreased lately after the former head buyer Steve Daniels left the company. He has set up his own venture with Novum Wines, and they stock a great selection of Greek wines. Unfortunately this is still the exception. One of the problems is that most of the importers in Germany are Greeks who ignore the wine merchants and sell their offerings to Greek tavernas and the Greek community. Whenever I present Greek wines to merchants, there is a surprise about the high quality available. There simply is very little knowledge concerning Greek wines in the market. My goal is to change this, it is a rocky road, but I am willing to put in my time and effort. Greek wines deserve to be known by all wine lovers abroad.

    Auf Wiedersehen :)

  5. Kostas KatsoulierisAugust 27, 2009, 4:29 pm

    Herr Stolz,

    I must say I am touched by your dedication in this endeavour. I will ensure that next time I am in the US I will go to the wine store in New Jersey and try and point them in the right direction. Another bonus to the Greek wine industry would be to change the selection of wines sold at Athens Airport (although they can keep Kyr Yianni’s Yiannakohori & Rapsani as both have proved to be hits with French people I have taken them too).

    Bis spaeter KK

  6. adminAugust 27, 2009, 4:53 pm

    Herr Katsoulieris,

    thank you, that is very kind of you. Any assistance is most welcome, and word-of-mouth can be quite powerful too. Interesting point in regards to the wine selection at the airport, I also noted the Kyr Yianni wines there. These are very good wines indeed.

    Bis spaeter ;)