As regular readers know, I write a free, twice monthly wine column that’s distributed to newspapers across the country.
These columns are hosted by Palate Press: The Online Wine Magazine. If you don’t see my column in your local newspaper, please send an email to your paper’s editor and CC me (David – at – Terroirist.com).
In my latest column, I profile Kermit Lynch, the wine merchant who transformed America’s wine scene. The 25th anniversary edition of his seminal book, Adventures on the Wine Route, was just released.
“When I wrote the book,” explained wine merchant Kermit Lynch, “I thought the oenologists were going to take over.
We were chatting about Adventures on the Wine Route, Lynch’s seminal tour of France that can be found on every wine enthusiast’s bookshelf. When the book was released in 1988, Lynch feared that “old-style wines” — artisanal projects that expressed a sense of place — were on their way out, so he launched a crusade to educate his “clients to the diversity and virtue of those wines.”
Lynch entered the wine industry in 1972. A struggling musician, Lynch had been paying his bills by fashioning purses out of rug scraps. That business wasn’t personally fulfilling, so when a suitor came knocking, he sold, using the proceeds to spend four months in Europe.
Lynch came back from Europe with a passion for wine, but wasn’t able to find a job in the industry. So his girlfriend lent him $5,000 to open up a wine shop in Albany, California. Lynch soon became a distributor and importer, as well, and relocated to Berkeley in the early 1980s.
It’s fitting that Lynch moved to Berkeley. The site of so much ferment, it’s a logical place to spearhead a wine revolution. And that’s the only way to describe Lynch’s efforts. He transformed America’s wine scene.
Check out the rest of the piece on Palate Press: The Online Wine Magazine.