It’s an open secret among Ontario restaurant professionals that much, if not most, of the great wines of value never make it onto the shelves of the LCBO. Instead they sit “on consignment” on the at liquor monopoly’s warehouse* waiting for a wine agent to receive an order of a case or more from a restaurant or collector. This wine trade is done largely out of the view of the general public… until now. Adam Bekhor and Nelson Abreu went live with WineWire.ca this September. Their website allows consumers to browse and order wines from 20 Ontario importing agencies, like Le Sommelier and B&W Wines, with new ones joining their program all the time. Unlike previous online wine ventures launched in the Ontario market, WineWire isn’t an agency itself, and Abreu explained to GFR that “As our customer traffic grows and we see more and more results, we continue to add more and more products, and a wider range of products.”
I caught up with Bekhor and Abreu at their mid-town Toronto offices and studio to watch a taping of WineWire TV and chat about how their new business works for the video below.
Can’t see the video? Click here.
* Most citizens don’t understand that the LCBO’s liquor monopoly is not limited to retail but includes wholesaling and warehousing. Agencies may only be in possession of a bottle of wine for 24 hours before delivering it to what is technically the LCBO’s customer.
Malcolm Jolley is a founding editor of Good Food Revolution and Executive Director of Good Food Media, the not-for-profit corporation which publishes it. Follow him at twitter.com/malcolmjolley