Wine's patron saint

Richard Kinssies sells great unsung vintages at miraculous prices

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This approach to wine sales is unusual in itself, but even more noteworthy is the way he embraces wines other sellers won't touch. He points to a bottle of Sibyl Riesling as an example. "This wine wasn't selling for the distributor. The bottle's weird; it's a dry wine made by an American in Germany. I tasted it, and it was fabulous. But everyone thinks they hate Rieslings, and no one wanted to try it."

Kinssies kiddingly "forced" his customers into sampling a taste from a single bottle he had open in the store. "In a day or two I'd sold every case, before I even had it in the store. If I'm convinced of a wine, I can sell it."

For every wine, a story Although he's a self-proclaimed risk taker, Kinssies has proved he has a popular palate. Recently he managed to sell 1,200 bottles of a particular wine in only six days, and after only four months in business he had turned his complete inventory five times.

His success can be credited in large part to his engaging personality. At any given moment he'll launch into a story that piques your curiosity about a wine enough to buy it. "Once, when I was in Portugal," he says, "I tasted a famous Portuguese wine called Vinho Verde. It was awful―highly acidic, highly tannic, a luminous purple. To me, it was a useless wine!"




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