The 5000 piece puzzle

Lots of people love puzzles. It’s a great way to idle away time on a long weekend at the cabin, or during a family reunion. Why are some 1000 pieces? Why are some only ten inches square while others are huge? Why would someone intentionally choose an incredibly difficult 5000 piece puzzle? Easy: they want Read More…

Taking a stand

All that really matters is the experience of the end consumer. Simple as that. If she pops a bottle of wine with friends, pours the glasses, and loves the experience of drinking that bottle then it really doesn’t matter who the wholesaler was or even who the retailer was. The only two connection points in Read More…

The five percent, and the one percent

95% of all Champagne sold is produced by the largest houses and have the names we all know. 5% of all Champagne sold is Farmer Fizz, i.e. Recoultant Manipulant, stuff from the families and the little producers that ship tiny quantities their wines to the United States. For wine salespeople and marketers, the discussion usually Read More…

Why can’t you?

Why can’t you be the most successful wine sales rep in the state? The region? Why can’t you become the most successful wine retailer in your city, or your state, or even the country? The common answer, the default answer, is competition. “Too many other wholesalers / sales reps / retailers  … that’s why.” But Read More…

High end chocolate

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 Read More…

Info power (and wine wholesalers)

I type this post while sitting at a coffee shop. No surprise there. But this coffee shop (Caribou) is trying to compete with Starbucks. Part of their strategy is the new “perks club” (cute name). If I join the club I can slooooooowly build points for a free cookie or a coffee. But in exchange Read More…

The irony of competition

There is a grand irony in the wine business. First, the more wholesalers there are, the better it is for retailers and restaurants. It makes for competition, it makes for more choice, it makes for opportunity to buy wines that nobody else has, it allows for a retailer or restaurant to stand out easier. Second, Read More…

Seeing things with true clarity …

… is almost impossible. But doubly impossible when you’re starting from behind to begin with. How do you start from behind? Lack of sleep Lack of exercise Drinking too much wine and feeling the compounded impact on your brain and body Anxiety (fear of what might happen) Disorganization Poor diet Letting others usurp your time Being digitally Read More…

On luxury wine

A luxury wine (as opposed to a great but expensive wine) exists based on scarcity and social proof. It has to be scarce, because the rules of supply and demand not only keep the proposed value sky high, but actually increases the eventual cost of holding a bottle of your own. A luxury wine cannot Read More…

Being relevant

To be relevant in an industry is the simple goal for most workers and most businesses. To be a restaurant that gets mentioned in the “top 10” lists. To be a wine that retailers are asking for, not being loaded upon. To be an employee asked for an opinion on an internal matter. To be somebody Read More…

Let’s talk email

Efficiency is talked about often, and email is definitely one of the most efficient ways to communicate (in many ways too efficient, which is why it gets overused). In the spirit of efficiency some people use email well. And others do not. And it’s painful to watch (and read). Rules: Learn what BCC: is all Read More…