The idea for ¿Por qué no? (Why not? in English) began in 2011 when four best friends met in Spain for 12 days to explore the food, wine and culture of Catalonia, Andalusia, and Madrid. One of us (not I) spoke Spanish and the rest of us...not so much.
One evening out, ¡Por qué no! became the very loud and enthusiastic group response whenever asked if we’d like another of anything:
“Some Jamón Ibérico for the table?” ¡Por qué no!
“How about some rabbit ribs?” (Um, OK.) ¡Por qué no!
“Patatas Bravas?” (Brave potatoes? Sure.) ¡Por qué no!
“Perhaps some Boquerones?” (Not sure what those are, but what the hell…) ¡Por qué no!
“How about a glass of Vermut?” (Yes.) ¡Por qué no!
“A gin tonic?” (Yes!) ¡Por qué no!
“More wine?” (YES!) ¡Por qué no!
By the end of the evening, our waiter quoted ¡Por qué no! back to us in his best American/John Wayne accent. And after having had just a little too much of everything, it's good to know that the Spanish word for "taxi" is…taxi.
Flash forward three years and a few more trips to Spain later (I enjoy boquerones on the regular now), it was clear that my concept for a Sherry Wine popup bar in San Francisco could only be named ¿Por qué no? (I changed to question marks to note something to contemplate vs. an exclamation.)
It was also at that time that I met Alex Russan, who had recently started Alexander Jules, his wine import company of personally selected sherry blends. You have to be super passionate and just a little crazy to do something niche like this. In fact, he was the only one in the United States selecting, creating, and bottling his own sherry blends. We hit it off immediately!
And when the time came for me to leave my corporate sales gig and start working for myself full-time, Alex was at the top of my contact list. Over the years, Alex had grown his import business to include an incredible portfolio of Spanish wines with a focus on small, often organic, family grower/producers. These grower/producers make soil driven wines, often from rare grapes, and some in regions well off the beaten path. At this point, I was determined to become more than an occasional Sherry popup and start an import business of my own, so I went to Alex for advice on how to get started. After a couple of days together and what must have been a few hundred questions from me, Alex and I concluded that we could both benefit by combining his great portfolio and knowledge with my sales and business experience. I spent the next year+ learning as much as I could about the business and went to Spain with Alex to meet these wonderful grower/producers myself. I love these wines and I love the people making them even more.
So, when Alex asked me if I wanted to take over the business so he could focus solely on sourcing the wine and pursuits outside the business, I knew exactly what to say... ¡Por qué no!
Sean Norton, Founder
¿Por qué no? Selections