• Sarah O'Kelley

Save Wine Jobs, Please & Thanks!


All I want for Christmas…


Is to drink European wine and not worry about stupid trade tariffs!


Seriously folks, I don’t want to be a downer during a merry time of the year. So let me share my thoughts on the possibility of a 100% tariff on all European wine and spirits in a positive manner…


I have always said that I loved France before I loved wine. I vividly remember my high school trip to France with our wonderful French teacher. I remember thinking...I’ve found my place! We ate whole fried sardines and crepes and visited Monet’s garden.

Not long after this I came across the memoir A Year in Provence on my grandmother’s book shelf. It’s quite the romantic, postcard-picture-perfect take on becoming an ex-pat in southern France. I was SOLD!


I double majored in French and journalism, and I imagined I would become a foreign correspondent. Then I fell in love with food and restaurants, and here I am today -- managing a wine shop/bar and thinking about wine most hours of the day.

Studying wine and finding a job in this field truly brought all my old loves together: France, writing, learning… Most of us that fall for wine fall for the story behind the wines just as much as the smell and taste. And most of this story comes from Europe.

Taking the time to learn all of the Old World wine regions is THE best armchair travel. You study mountains and rivers and food customs. You really get a sense of the place and the people and develop an appreciation for somewhere beyond your corner of the world.


And these Old World wines are the foundation for their New World counterparts. Many New World winemakers seek apprenticeships in Europe before starting their own projects. And almost every interview with these New World folks will contain some bit on tasting Old World gems. These wines are the standard bearers even for those winemakers going off in less traditional directions.


Simply put, we would be lost without Old World wines in our markets. We would lose knowledge and jobs and a certain magic.


So this Christmas as I say thanks for my wonderful life and job and all the many friends I have made through the wine world, I will most certainly enjoy an Old World lineup.


Definitely Champagne to start (perhaps the old vine Meunier from Chartogne-Taillet, truly one of a kind)! And then some Verduno Barolo from importer Oliver McCrum, who like so many importers has staked his entire livelihood on bringing Old World wines to the United States. That Barolo should go perfectly with short ribs! And finally how about Tessier’s off dry Chenin Blanc from one of our own tiny, Charleston based distributors. This should go amazingly with my cheese board featuring small American creameries. And really this should tie the whole meal up with a bow on top -- bringing European and American deliciousness to the same table, where they belong.


Here’s to a holiday season seeking peace and joy in all of our worlds!


If you also feel passionate about the wine tariffs please consider signing the Save American Wine Jobs petition by clicking here.


P.S. For a quick, easy read explaining the tariffs a bit more -- check out this piece in New York Magazine.

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