Tuesday, December 22, 2009
THE PORTFOLIO SHUFFLE
Seems like at the end/beginning of every year here in the Commonwealth, the various distributors/brokers/importers/etc. apparently get together and change their lineup cards a bit (I know that is not how it works). This distributor takes brand A from that distributor who gets brand B from another distributor who takes brand C from the first distributor, or there is a distributor going under so there is a feeding frenzy in the shark tank – you get the idea.
To stay in the game, retail buyers need to keep one ear to the ground and the other in the wind, just so they can know where what brands are going and to whom they are going. Couple all that with the recent Constellation restructuring, after all the mergers and acquisitions, and your brainpan will be spilling over. Sometimes I just want to stand up and scream “make up my friggin’ mind for me, would’ya?” My favorite resulting move is Constellation becoming Diageo Jr., by forcing their distributorship in KY to form its own house. And of course, they call it Starz. They are with Southern Wine & Spirits, hence Southern Starz. This is not to be confused with Southern Starz, the importer of Australian and South African wines that recently migrated from a small outfit based in Columbus, Ohio to Kentucky’s Bryant Distributing.
Trade-offs in just the past few months include Nevada Co. Wine Guild, Burgess Cellars, St. Supery, Paolo Scavino, Michel Picard, Las Rocas de San Alejandro, and more. Lord only knows what the new year is bringing our way in 2010, but change can be fun. It can also be a real big pain in the ass, too.