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, the more retailers and restaurants there are, the better it is for wholesalers.
It makes for more business, it makes for opportunity to sell a larger variety of wines to more customers, it allows for a wholesaler to make a mark easier.
So the irony is clear: Wholesalers complain endlessly about more and more wholesalers opening shop; Restaurants complain about more and more restaurants opening and getting the ‘new kid on the block’ attention; and retailers moan about the rise of direct to consumer sales.
Yet everybody wants to sell more, to more customers.
So what’s the lesson? I don’t know the answer, but I have a feeling it is this: maybe MORE is better for all. Maybe the sign of a strong industry is the rise of competition. Maybe the sign that most of us are doing something right, is the continuous uphill battle.
Maybe the irony of competition is okay.