The recession has wine lovers looking for value – that’s a no brainer. And Cameron Hughes was in the right place at the right time when the economy tanked. Having set himself up as an American “negociant,” a broker who buys excess wine from producers and bottles it under his own name, Hughes was in good position to take advantage of excess supply once consumers decided to spend less on wine.
The economy has led to a market for “stealth wines,” labels that don’t have wineries, as distributors, stores and importers commission their custom blends. These wines can be great values. While Hughes signs confidentiality agreements restraining him from bragging about who supplies his wines, the end product typically tastes much more expensive than the price.
Here’s my profile of Hughes, from an interview when he was in the D.C. area recently.