Posts Tagged ‘Business’

Passion on the Vine – a review

Tuesday, August 12th, 2008

When one looks at a vineyard – you’re not looking at it in the same way as you would look at an orange orchard. Instead one sees a multitude of experiences past and of moments yet to come – moments of intimacy, memorable occasions, conversations and treasured friendships. Since time immemorial, vineyards have not only been the touchstone of certain regions, but have often been the lifeblood of local communities and the cornerstone of entire generations of families. Every vineyard contains a family, a , a and a . This was at least, the sentiment I had before embarking on a mission to City, where I would promote and sell ’s connected to my family in some ways, and more importantly – from my country. During that time – having spent much time in for the mission, I left with those stories and sentiments of culture and family fresh in my blood. But with every -call and wine I began to feel further and further from the vineyard. Soon it was laid in cost, case-discounts and what kind of Point of Sale material was on offer. I travelled the country in a rental car with a case of wine, a corskrew and a -point presentation along the way having people from Westchester Wine Warehouse cruelly spit wine on my shoe after having left me waiting for an hour, sitting in cold-rooms of cellars in Maryland, helping do stock-takes in Ohio, presenting to Wholefoods buyers in North Carolina and pushing on-premise retail in : and with every step I became a bit more confused and lost the focus of what I was doing. Having believed that wine was so important to my country and stepping into the States to tell the story of South African wine, it was very dispiriting to suddenly be faced with the fact that no one really cared so long as they could make a profit.

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The magic is in the juice

Wednesday, June 11th, 2008

When I started working in the in the summer of 2007 I knew a few things . First it was exponentially better to drink than the Natural Light my contemporaries were imbibing at the time. It provides a great way to meet women and convince them you’re more sophisticated than you actually are. And finally there was something I desired to learn about culturally, historically and socially; anyone can order a martini and look good doing so but in the of you are constantly finding out new and interesting things. Yet for all the knowledge I thought I had gathered nothing was more humbling than going to work in a store, where the people above you spent most of their lives buying, selling and learning about . From my time with them I’ve learned a lot about spotting good wines.

First of all, labels mean absolutely nothing, so when you go to buy wine don’t even look at the front ignore it, there is more useful information on the back like a good importer. In this era of opulence and visually stimulated purchasing, Louis Vutton and Cadillac, take a more refined and dare I say classier approach. I am reminded of the Tommy Boy with the late great Chris Farley. Tommy is selling Callahan Break Pads; one of his retailers says there isn’t a guarantee on Callahan’s box. Tommy says you can put a guarantee on shit and its still shit, same thing with wine – creative picture means the spent all the money on a and not the . Like a guarantee vs. the actual product. There can and often will be a cute picture on the bottle but the , more times than not, is still absolute Swill (a colloquialism used to describe wine not worth ). (more…)

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Posted in Industry, Thoughts, Wine | 10 Comments »

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