I’ve spent the last four years selling and purchasing some of the most sought after and not so sought after wines in the world. I’ve sold on a retail level, I’ve purchased for a large wine boutique retailer, I’ve advised the purchaser of the third largest wine and spirits retailer in Canada, I’ve sold to retailers, I’ve sold to independent restauranteurs, and restaurant chains.
In those four years I learned a few things. In Vino Veritas, is going to be a series where I expound on my experience in a much different voice than you are going to see in the rest of this blog. This is going to be a bit inside, it’s going to cater to wine geeks, and wine professionals. I plan on writing more accessible wine articles in the near future, but my In Vino Veritas series will not be accessible if you don’t know wine.*
In Vino Veritas- In Wine Is Truth.
What I feel: Wine is an art form. Winemaking is a nobel, passionate endeavor. Those who make wine, be it a masterpiece or plonk, are the most down to earth, hardworking, humble people you will ever meet.
What I know: In the real world wine is a packaged good. It’s a box of cereal, it’s bottle of toilet bowl cleaner, it’s an aisle end display if you grease the proper palms. The nobility of wine only goes as far as it’s ability to effect a profit and loss sheet.
What I feel: People who are studied in wine, love wine. They should want to share that passion with the rest of the world, even if it means stepping out of their comfort zone and engaging those they normally would not engage.
What I know: People who are studied in wine are elitist swine. They cling to paradigms and jargon, disguising them as tradition and structure to keep wine inaccessible. That said, a couple hours a week on google, and a few hundred dollars to experimenting with new wines, makes you just as good a salesperson as a sommelier.**
What I feel: The public is drinking better wine, learning more about wine, and challenging the status quo upheld by those who are studied in wine. There is a new generation of people who want a deeper connection to what they drink and eat.
What I know: The public doesn’t know shit and doesn’t particularly care about what they drink. They want the cheapest bottle of whatever is at an aisle end or feature shelf. They don’t want to make an informed decision, they want something with a cool label or a catchy name.
What I feel: The wine producers in Essex County are doing their best at growing this region. They are producing some fantastic wines, and they are embracing some tried and true business practices that have worked in Niagara and British Columbia.
What I know: The wine producers in Essex County are too traditional. They are risk adverse and they romanticize their products. This romantic attitude loses them in the shuffle before they can ever make a name for themselves. The reality is, that they don’t have the capital to play ball with the rest of the Canadian wine industry so their only choice is innovation.
This is just a taste of where I want to take this series. I am going to go much further in depth in the coming weeks. So please continue to check in regularly and enjoy all of the other content here on Braised Blue.
*This is just a disclaimer, feel free to read at your own peril.
**This is coming from someone who has some classical wine training as well as a lot self directed learning. I would dust most sommeliers when it comes to working with the public on wine and actually selling. Yes, ISG grads that there is a challenge.