Your Wine Onboarding

When your organization hires a new employee, they have obviously been vetted a bit and know something about wine.

But where they fall on that spectrum varies for each hire.

So does your company:

  1. Sit down with them, taste through a bunch of wines, get some input from them, learn how they describe the wines and how they would sell them to the customer, and have a conversation?
  2. Or hand them a packet of information and instructions on selling the wines you offer?


Obviously for a new hire totally new to wine, you do number 2. Especially because a restaurant or retail manager shouldn’t take precious time to have to train a brand new hire from the ground up when you don’t even know yet if they are a good fit or will stick around.

But for a new hire that comes in with some experience and background, maybe number one is better. Getting some fresh input on the wines by the glass, hearing about their past jobs and what worked and what didn’t, and having a 30 minute private wine conversation that the managers will get some insights and ideas from is a good use of time. If they quit in a week, at least you got some ideas out of them.


New hires with no experience with wine at all have to start somewhere. A gift of the book Wine For Dummies, as part of the onboarding process, is a great starting point. Tell them you’ll be asking for a summary of chapters one and two in a week.

New hires with some good experience are different. Maybe they get a copy of The Wine Bible or something even more advanced. Maybe they meet privately with the manager for 30 minutes to share ideas. Are you asking them who they know in the industry, where they have traveled, and who their favorite wineries are? What did your past employer do well, or not well? Where do you see opportunities?

In other words, every hire is different. Onboarding a new employee is not a one-size-fits-all formula, but rather an opportunity for both sides to help each other in a big way during that wonderful, fruitful, eye-opening first couple of weeks of employment.

Take advantage of it.