Feel the Wine

December 26, 2016 Leilani Techaira

David Shoemaker’s goal is to help you understand how you feel about wine. “I can’t teach someone to like something, but I can help introduce it in a way that’s easy to understand,” he says. “Understand styles and give them the vocabulary to describe it so they may buy it somewhere else.”

He believes that everyone enjoys wine in their own way, and doesn’t want to scare anyone away with an overload of information.

Based in Shanghai, David is Treasury Wine Estates (TWE) brand ambassador for their American wine portfolio in Asia. Since his fascination with James Bond movies as a child, David has always been passionate about wine and the world around it.

Today, he is well versed in the study of wine and spirits, as well as an acclaimed sommelier with several certifications. With more than two decades in the wine industry, he has organized wine and beverage programs and lists that have won over 50 awards from organizations and magazines. TWE owns and operates 90 different wine brands from New Zealand, USA, Australia, and Italy.

When David was approached to represent the TWE USA portfolio in Asia he couldn’t turn it down. He considers the portfolio to be very understandable to the Asian palate with its fruit-forward direction and freshness.

“I study and work very hard in this industry,” explains Shoemaker. “This is a portfolio of wines that I care about, and I’m honored to be its spokesperson.”

TWE is the second largest wine company in the world, the number one wine company in Australia in the stock exchange, the number one producer of luxury Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon in the world, and the largest landholder in the Carneros region.

With all the global viticulture resources at its fingertips, the company is able to access information from their vineyards all over the world. Their teams can share information learned through varying techniques and situations that allows them to dig deep and make sure they’re making the best possible wine.

TWE traces its roots back to Penfolds in Adelaide, Australia in the 1840s and Beringer Vineyards in Napa Valley, California in 1876. It is no wonder that these are also the two biggest brands in Asia.

According to export and import data the TWE USA portfolio is growing globally, especially in Asia. Numbers are going up particularly in China, Taiwan, and Guam.

“People are leaning more towards our style of wines. From a consumer’s perspective it’s easier for a new consumer to understand wine they don’t have to study to enjoy,” David explains.

TWE’s American wine brands include Beringer, Sterling, Stags’ Leap, Beaulieu Vineyards, Chateau St. Jean, and Etude.

Beringer, the biggest TWE brand on Guam, is from the heart of Napa Valley, and is continuously the oldest operating winery in the valley going on 141 years. It’s host to an exceptional collection of vineyards, whose winemaking legacy is reflected in its portfolio.

The wines made at Beringer are Cabernet, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Red Blend, Pinot Grigio, Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc, and White Zinfandel.

Wine is still considered to be a luxury in a lot of areas in Asia, and is mostly seen at celebrations. David is trying to introduce it in a way that is more approachable, and to bring it to the consumer’s home.

He’ll take fruit from a store and bring familiarity to what a person tastes from their glass of wine. “You kind of have to pull back and remember, ‘Wait, it’s still a beverage and should be consumed and enjoyed,’” he says.

This is David’s first visit, out of many future ones, to the island. “Guam is a new market for me, and everyone I’ve talked to so far is very eager to understand wine,” he reveals.

“I’ve gotten the impression that everyone here wants to enjoy something special and unique. It’s been a great experience, and I can’t wait to return.”

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