Since 1987 I have been working as an independent wine consultant for my dutch firm Enoconsult. My consultancy activities are numerous (Curriculum Vitae). For the last 20 years my main activity has been assisting medium sized wine importers with their wine imports: making selections (wine scouting), managing the communication with suppliers and promoting the selected wines.
How it started
Most of the wines I taste for these selections are not exciting, but just average, some of them even bad in style and quality. On the other hand I come across wines that are good, very good or excellent. Some of them did not fit in the portfolio of the already mentioned wine importers. These (but also other) highly interesting wines deserve it to find their way to the consumer, providing pleasure and satisfaction: the main reason for the existence of wine. Giving these good wines the opportunity to find an importer or a wider distribution seemed to me the right thing to do. The idea was born to start winescout.info, the podium on which wines who fully deserve it can be presented to the world.
Can importers benefit?
Do you have to pay for the expertise and information of Winescout.info? You are a good scout yourself. Is Winescout.info selecting as good as you are? Does Winescout.info share the same selection criteria (see selection criteria) ? Aren’t there many other renown sources of information of wine critics available? What is Winescout.info offering differently or extra compared with the established critic’s information?
importers can hugely benefit from Winescout.info's information.
* it is free ;
* it is objective, professional and honest;
* the approach is different from the established critics; (selection criteria)
* easy access to the producer or export agent: complete address, tel. and faxnrs, e-mail address.
Who is paying and why?
Not the importer is paying the costs for this expertise and web site, but the producer who wants to export his wine. That is the one who needs a platform. How can you be objective when the producer pays for the information? (This is an essential question, but always ask as well: how objective can a critic be, in a magazine which is also publishing adverts of importers / producers or wines mentioned in this magazine?)
Yes, Winescout.info is objective
Financially I am not dependent on winescout.info, but that may be not a strong argument for you. Most important I have a reputation to keep up. A strong, single-minded, but capable, honest and straight reputation built during the years since 1987. But still I advise you not to believe anyone for the first time. In our profession you have to be cautious and sometimes even suspicious. Only the wine will tell the whole truth.
Always decide yourself
I strongly advise importers: always ask the producer to send a sample of the wine I recommend (same lotnr.!) and then make up your own mind. Even if the wine is not of your liking, there is no risk for you involved.
Why are only good wines mentioned?
Would it not be wiser to publish also comments on wines which are not good or even bad? I think not. Because it would take a lot of valuable space in this web site and it would take a lot of my time and effort to publish them (most of the wines are rejected), an other argument is that you can be horribly wrong in judging a wine during a specific phase of its development and finally I can not and will not ask a producer to pay for a negative exposure.
Has Winescout.info delivered
The answer is a clear Yes! And it continues to do so. For both importers and producers Winescout.info has proven its value. Many producers have found an importer for their very good wines because of the positive evaluations published in winescout.info. Another interesting and important fact for producers is that all wines from the winescout.info selection are indexed by all the major search engines such as Google, most of the time as the first reference, because of the tasting evaluations in this web site. Quotations from and references to the positive tasting evaluations in Winescout.info also proved to be an excellent supportive marketing tool.