Michael Corso realized at a young age that he loved wine. More specifically, French and Italian wine. He rooted himself up from Illinois, followed the grapes to Europe, and acquired a taste for the earthy robust ancient vines that have been creating legendary wine for centuries. He managed to turn that oenophile addiction into a career and is now one of the top French wine importers in the US today.
Michael Corso Selections mission statement is simple: to import top quality wines at the best possible prices. Their belief is in the growers: good growers will always make good wine. Michael and his partner Beth travel extensively searching for those producers who keep tradition alive with wines that express the special character of each unique terrior.
Michael tends to work predominantly with small, family domaines vignerons who are keenly aware of the patrimony of the land that they will pass onto their children and grandchildren. This is not about making wine for true profit gain (though that’s important too)—it’s a legacy these families are continuing. Many of the wines Michael imports are produced organically, most are from sustainable farming and all are made with respect for quality.
It’s about letting the winemakers make the wine and making sure they get to the right person to enjoy it.
It’s important to note that Michael and his team are not interventionist importers. It’s not about stepping in halfway through the process and throwing your two cents in the barrel…pun intended. We had the pleasure of tasting a few of Michael’s favorite selections with him in Midtown Manhattan the other day for an early ‘breakfast wine’ tasting. It is never too early for a sip of the 2007 Domaine Roger & Christophe Moreux Sauvignon Blanc. Lush and fruity, intense aromas of wildflowers, fresh figs, melon and a long, refreshing finish. The most perfect aperitif wine…which is fitting, since the region it hails from, Chavignol, is also home to France’s greatest goat cheese.
The estate of Domaine Roger & Christophe Moreux represents the best in artisanal wine making. It has been well-established in Sancerre since 1895, and the work of the vineyards has been handed down from father to son for many generations. Moreux’s “Les Bouffants” comes from a parcel of limestone soil covered with rocks, or “caillottes.” This extremely steep, stony vineyard yields an aromatic wine of great minerality that is not only richly-aromatic, but crisp and racy.
Moreux’s estate really focuses on the finesse of each wine…coaxing out the legendary flavors, concentrating on the bouquet of each bottle. The Moreux wines traditionally exhibit an abundance of flavors and complexities. This wine could pair exceedingly well as an aperitif, with oysters and shellfish, a goat cheese salad or with fish in a delicate sauce. Unlike the vast majority of simple Sancerres, Moreux’s wines ages extremely well for many years. Something unexpected that you might not find without the right person to lead you.
Michael is pretty great about acting as a personal wine consultant—tell him what you like, what you’re looking for, even if you don’t know what you want yet.
Your wine importer is one of the most important people in your life. Choose wisely.