The world of high end, exclusive, limited availability, hand-made chocolate is pretty neat.
Where the beans came from, the roasting, the pressing, the sweat involved in every step makes each bar simply taste better. It’s a world where knowledge multiplies the taste experience.
And the folks that buy the high-end chocolate have little hesitation to hand over big money for their favorite chocolate bar. They follow the makers, maybe join their email list, maybe bypass the local coffee shop and go straight to the source. They are invested, they appreciate the quality, they seek out the artisanal.
But most of the chocolate sold in the world is mass-produced plonk. Forgettable junk simply used to give a person a sugar buzz.
Both cater to different customers, with different needs, and different budgets. And the goal of the artisan is not necessarily to find scores of Hershey’s fans and convert them. That would take many lifetimes and too much money, with a huge failure rate. No, the goal of the artisan is to simply make the best chocolate she can, empower current fans to tell their friends, and build the customer list one person at a time.
Wine is the same thing. So when the high-end customer bypasses the retailer (and thus the wholesaler) and goes directly to the source, don’t act surprised. It’s part of the natural economic system and should be embraced. As wine lovers, we like to think of higher-end winemakers as artisans. Let them be artists.