The fact that there’s a new Italian wine buyer at a wine shop in Houston make not seem like big news to some.
But when you consider that the Houston Wine Merchant is the last independently owned wine store in Houston — one of our country’s biggest markets, the fourth largest city in the U.S., and a strong wine market despite the continuing financial crisis — there’s no denying that this is the guy that Italian winemakers are going to want to see when they pass through town.
Last week, I caught up with Antonio Gianola (above), the merchant’s new hire, one of the wine professionals I admire most in Texas.
His knowledge of Italian wine is unimpeachable and his professionalism beyond reproach.
And… he’s super nice guy.
I’m entirely geeked to see someone with his talent and experience in Italian wines buying for the Houston Wine Merchant (where I shop when I’m in Houston).