Two-points wine rating system could be great for Russia

Only 5 per cent of people are exposed to fine wines in the Russia’s capital, and I mean fine wines, It’s much less in the regions, where people don’t tell their whites from reds. So, say I, why should we even bother the general common sweet Lambrusco drinkers with the 100-points wine ratings? At the current stage of our wine culture development Russian consumer needs a clear understanding which wines are drinkable and which are NOT. As simple as that. Continue reading

Why Moscow is not Hong-Kong

There are things we miss in Russia. Some of them are wine-related. Fair wine prices and a broad selection are just two of them. Looking at the astonishing rise of Hong-Kong as a world wine hub and culture, I say: folks, Moscow could become the wine center of the country and the whole CIS region, driving wine culture into the vast areas where wine has never been heard of. “Bring vodka down onto its knees” sort of thing. Continue reading

American wines: gambling on Russians

There is no easy way to say it. Wine market in Russia is subject to serious diseases – with subsequent choking and loss of conscience. It’s violent, it’s turbulent. It’s bureaucratic and irrational most times. Ah, yes – it’s corrupt, too. Wine is widely and openly treated as a serious problem by the Russian authorities. Wine is a political instrument for the relations with the former USSR-bloc countries. There are banning taxes and even greater margins in the major networks and wine shops. You would probably ask – why would any sane US winery be willing to be here? Obviously – there are reasons.

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Mark-down, Mark-up: Kauffman to save CEDC?

Will wine market pioneer Mark Kauffman save CEDC? It’s all secret now. On the February the 18th a well known vodka and wine baron Mark Kauffman, the former owner of a wine importing company Whitehall and the inventor of the famous Kauffman vodka and many other brands,  signed a confidentiality agreement with a vodka producer CEDC (Central European Distribution Corporation). The secrecy is explained by the ongoing negotiations on the Kauffman’s offer of up to $75m investment of his personal funds to help the Polish company survive and pay its current debts and payments on loans and bonds. Continue reading