My last day at The Wine Country, ie. my day working in the retail wine business (for now, not saying I won't do it again, there is charm in working in a specialty wine shop) was December 24, 2008. It was my 4th Christmas there, or my 3.5th since I was only part time this year. It concluded 3 years of service for the beloved shop.
Though I won't physically be there (except to visit and sell wine to them), it will remain a place close to my heart. And a place I will refer people to, in person and here on line.
I decided to make a list of 10 things I learned working there. Of course, I learned all I know about wine working there, so there are probably closer to 1,357 things, but I wanted to brew it down to 10 things, maybe with some quirkiness and humor if I can muster it.
1. The box cutter is a very useful and safe tool.
2. Wines sell faster in a case stack than they do on a rack.
3. Wines (and probably many other things) sell at different rates depending on where in the store you put them.
4. Nothing sells wine like personal passion, excitement, and love for particular wines. ie. All wines need love. :)
5. Many people like sweet wines. Of these people, only a small percentage actually want to know they are sweet wines. The majority (90%) do not want to be associated with drinking sweet wine (even though they like sweet wine). Got that?
6. Acidity in a wine is good. (Who knew? I didn't. I never liked a squeeze of lemon on my fish. And I thought a wine that made my face pucker up was not really good. Who knew acidity was good? I do now.)
7. There are a lot of great white wines, and they are not all Chardonnay-like. White wines are pleasure-giving, as much as red wines.
8. Nothing sells wines like personal relationships. Personal relationships with ones customers, and personal relationships with ones suppliers. Without this, the bottles are just units on a shelf with different scores and prices.
9. Writing about wine and the places wine comes from and the people that make the wine from real vines that grow from the earth can bring great pleasure.
10. A love of wine is about a love for the good life: good people, good conversation, good food, and the flow of all these things for the long haul.