Tuesday, May 13, 2008


Taking a day off is a rarity for me, much to this displeasure of my wife, but in this turbulent world of wine retail, one day off is the equivalent to about 5 days away from the job. I have this feeling I am a bit like Atlas, though there is no time for kibitzing. Not to say that I am indispensible, on the contrary, I am sure that the big machine that is LD would groove along nicely without me, but I do know that there is a lot going on, more than one could imagine.

As in life, this place is filled to the brim with the concepts of change, with hundreds of new wines, constant presale and special deal offerings, new sales reps, new importers, changing distributors, new press, loads of point-of-sale information, etc., etc., etc. Most people see this job as all fun – me just tasting wine all day, taking samples home and remaining in a state of semi-intoxication almost 24-7. But the tasting bit is only about 5% of my job. I’d have to say that a good 75% of my job is research. I constantly have to read about the products coming my way – whether it’s Wine Spectator, Decanter, Wine Advocate, any number of wine blogs, or the various text books scattered around my office. There are an infinite number of new HOT products coming out from week to week, with high-scoring wines, small-production wines, trendy new packaged wines, the infamous “Cult” wines, and so much more, flying in and out of view at light speed. There are so many moments at home where, with everything whizzing around in my brain, that I “blank out” while my wife is telling me about some movie, or I am on the phone with my mom, or I am standing in the shower. (At least I don’t do it while I am driving.) To say that I eat, DRINK and sleep wine is a major understatement.

Every day is a new challenge to take on, a new wine to try, and a new topic to learn. It’s an exciting business, but one that requires a lot of studying. I almost feel like I am back in college. But that is the beauty of it – this business is an ever-morphing mind exercise, sort of liquid soduku.

Let the mayhem continue…

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