Who is Rick


(Did anyone notice I resorted to a car jack to slowly decant a 6 Liter bottle of 1981 Charles Lefranc Monterey Cabernet at my daughter's day after the wedding party?  The wine was made one year only and won the rematch of the Paris Competition in 1986)

Who is Rick? I have always been a “wine guy”.  My first attempt at wine making was at 14 years old. I did not have money and resources. I tried to make wine from the Concord grapes hanging from a backyard fence. I used plywood to duplicate “barrel aging”. The results were awful. I thereby learned the first lesson of wine: that there are no magic or cheap shortcuts to wine quality. More than most things in life, with wine, you tend to truly get what you pay for. The purpose of the website is to cut down the degree to which people overpay for or unknowingly abuse wine and to point towards the occasional bargain.

After pursuing a successful career in Europe as an academic in a British University, when I returned to America with a French wife, I decided to follow my first love, wine. Through it all, including in academe, I continued my home winemaking making anything from Cotes du Rhone to orange and raisin dessert wine. I have worked for wineries and been employed in every aspect of the industry:  retail (Kappy's Liquors of Boston) and wholesale (McKesson, Branded Liquors and Martignetti Cos of New England).   I worked for small wineries and large wineries (Kendall-Jackson, Almaden, Fetzer-Bonterra etc,) importers and exporters including the time spent in Bordeaux as the export director of a major negociant at the time, AQA.   (I discuss my experiences in Bordeaux in my Best Wine Advice Blog).  I was at different times a Wine Manager for a wholesaler and a General Manager of a wholesaler, and was a representative and manager for winery sales for California and imported brands.  My intention is to pass on to you, in shortened form, what I learned over those 35+ years of experience in the wine business.  I don't have any agenda in giving my advice such as working for a store or a magazine that accepts advertising.   I have written articles for publications such as Cruising WorldThe Wizard of Wines. I work only on your behalf.


For those of you in the business

Most businesses have a need for ideas to control the cost and quality of inventory.  This is especially true in the wine business. I can certainly help you with successful ideas there.  

If an on or off premise retailer, you can avail yourself of my services to help to choose wine for a retail store or simply to organize your store to maximize sales and profits. I also write or analyze restaurant wine lists that accomplish what you intend from an image, sales and profit perspective.   I have a particular talent for tasting a wine and knowing how much longer it has "to live" under various conditions.  I would love to give you an analysis of your inventory.  It is helpful to have someone to focus on your inventory and give realistic solutions on moving through dead items or about to die items.

if you are a supplier, I would love to represent your brand and would be very flexible about what form that representation would take.

If you are a wholesaler, I can pretty much contribute to every facet of your business. Try me.


For the general public

I do wine tastings, wine lectures to your group, and other sorts of wine consulting like helping you to build a wine collection or advising on storage..


Contact me by email at ricksmwu@gmail.com: interested parties in engaging my services only, please. I spend much of my time in the Sarasota, Florida area.  The rest of the time I am in New England and Ontario, Canada. The intention of this website is to provide beginning knowledge that most other sites don't -- not to answer general wine questions by email.  Hopefully you will be intrigued enough to be curious about my services. At the moment I earn nothing from this site.   Thank you.

This time I did not have time to start from scratch so I started with grape juice and finished the wine with oak spirals!


I am also into cooking