Who I am

This is my story…, this is who I am, Ricardo N. Ponce

I have been interested in wine for many many years, and I have dedicated much of my free time to learn and to educate myself on the subject.

I graduated and worked as an engineer for many years. Part of my career was in Argentina, and later in my younger years I moved to Canada and then to the United States, where I continued education and career objectives.

In my early years, when I was child, my grandfather had a small vineyard and made wine every year in a small town in San Juan, Argentina. I do remember very vividly people stomping on grapes, as his methods were traditional and his production was very small. My father also had a small vineyard, but he did not care about making wine, as much as he liked drinking wine with family and friends. Wine was on the table in every meal, and the children were given a small glass of wine with a bit of seltzer water as a common practice. I don’t recall ever having a soft drink with our meals. My mother would have an occasional bottle of beer.

Through my life, wine has always been present in meals, with friends, and in social gatherings. Wine has always been part of my life.

For some years now, I have been interested in learning the most I can about wine. I have taken courses, have read lots about it, and have visited many wineries in Argentina, France, and California. As part of my wine education, I have achieved the level of Certified Sommelier with the Court of Master Sommeliers, US Chapter, some years ago.

My exposure to wine includes commercial operations, as I formed and developed a wine merchant company that was operational for some years till the downturn of the economy and personal financial issues in 2008 made me interrupt it for some time. Fortunately, I was able to sort it all out, and I am back at it now. I have re-stablished Alternative Wines LLC, a wine import and wholesale company, and I have been able to resume operations as a small locally-owned wine company in Huntsville, Alabama.

That is briefly who I am.

This is my Mission

I will continue to provide our community with the best wines I can find in my quest-for-wine trips to countries such as Argentina, Chile, France, Spain and California, mainly. I intend to continue being a small company that works together with the wine makers and importers in order to obtain the best value possible. I must say, it is a daunting task sometimes, but I promise I will do my best.

One more thing…

As an additional aspect of my mission, I intend to include wine educational activities. We hear a lot about wine and there is quite a lot to read out there. But, the opportunities to learn about wine through wine sessions, wine tasting, wine courses, are somewhat a bit scarce.  I intend to share with all of you all I have learnt about wine, and all I will learn in the future too. I don’t even entertain the slightest thought that I know much about it. In fact, sometimes, I feel I have only scratched the surface of the universe of wine knowledge. There is much to be learnt! But this time, I do wish to do it with you. Let’s learn together about wine. Let’s talk about wine. Let’s discuss wine. Let’s grow a community of friends and wine lovers. And of course, let’s drink a little bit of wine together too.

This an invitation…!

Food for thought…

Carved on a wall at the wine bar of the School of Wine of Bordeaux (L’École du vin de Bordeaux), it reads something like this: “There is a civilization of wine, where men want to know each other in order to not to fight each other”, by Gabriel Delauney. I believe that by “men” it is meant human kind in general. I found it really nice and so true, that I wanted to share it with you. (The original in French: “Il ya une civilization du vin, c’est celle où les hommes veulent se connaître afin de ne pas se combattre”)

Well…, I know I am doing my part. Cheers…!