Rare wine co
The Rare Wine Co. was founded in 1989 by Mannie Berk. The first major award was given to them 2002, when they were voted the Best Wine Importer in America, as part of Food & Wine magazine’s American Wine Awards. Then Mannie was named a Wine Personality of the Year in 2002 and 2004 by Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, followed by a pair of James Beard Award nominations in 2008 and 2009.
In the role of a major national importer, The Rare Wine Co. represents nearly three dozen of Europe’s most revered producers, including such iconic names as Pingus, Alvaro Palacios, Jacques Selosse and Domaine Huet. Their goal is not to concentrate on a single country or region but to have a portfolio that represents “the best of the best,” with a strong emphasis on classic winemaking.
They also have what is arguably the greatest library of old and rare wines of any wine merchant in America. Our library allows them to provide both private and restaurant clients perfectly aged wines, dating back to the 19th century, for their cellars and for special occasions, and to do so at reasonable prices.
Finally, over the past quarter century, RWC has been fierce advocates for wines and regions they believed were neglected in the world spotlight. Thanks in part to their work, wines ranging from Chablis and Cote Rotie to old Champagne and traditional Rioja enjoy far more prestige today than they did when the company was founded.
RWC has helped restore to prominence wines threatened with virtual extinction. Today, both Madeira and traditionally made Barolo are thriving in part because of The Rare Wine Co.’s passionate advocacy. And, through the RWC's pioneering work with estate-grown Tuscan olive oil, helped to establish new standards for the selection and care of extra virgin olive oil, regardless of its origin. The Rare Wine Co. vigorously champion several dozen producers wines and philosophy they deeply admire. They carry an unparalleled library of wines dating back decades.
After an earlier career in government in Chicago and Boston, and a few years writing and teaching about wine, Mannie Berk couldn’t resist the call of a vast quantity of old Madeira he found in London in 1987. Two years later he founded The Rare Wine Co. Since that time, he has made RWC America’s finest non-auction source for older wines, including Madeira, of which he is considered the country’s leading authority.
In 2011, he edited and co-authored the second edition of Noel Cossart’s Madeira, The Island Vineyard, which the International Cookbook Awards named the best book on European wines published in the United States that year. In 2002, he was named Food & Wine’s Best Wine Importer, and he is a two-time James Beard Award semi-finalist and two-time Wine Advocate Wine Personality of the Year.