Small to mid-sized wine wholesalers have become an important force in the US wine market, as they provide restaurants with a diverse and unique portfolio. Because consolidation has occurred at the wholesale tier, the big distributors tend to push the well-known wines. As a result, smaller companies were able to find their niche by bringing all of the smaller wineries that would have previously gone unrecognized to market. According to Ken Frederickson, founder of Tenzing Wine and Spirits, a mid-sized Chicago importer, “Smaller distributors are the lifeblood of creativity and fundamental to Chicago’s culinary landscape… Thanks to them, the wine industry has caught up with the food scene in the last 10 years.” Small to mid-sized wholesalers have essentially given on premise retailers an element of specialization in the US wine market.
Source: Crain’s Chicago Business