Sunday, April 24, 2022

Love Me! Love My Wine!

One of the distillations I’ve arrived to, at this late hour, is that ultimately everything is about love. And that includes any and all things that have to do with wine. Oh, yes, there is science and technique. And style. And safety and health and marketing. And sales. But if people don’t love your product, you’re going nowhere. And in today’s climate, in our information-barraged world, with our upside-down state of affairs, when it comes to world health and world peace and world travel, how do you get someone to love you and love your wine?

When it comes to the way we used to do it, pre-Covid19, there was a, more-or-less, expected path. After the wine was made, and assuming it was a reliable product (tasty, attractive in appearance to more than just the creator and priced appropriately for its category) there were well-trod paths that one would take to assure the wine would get to the end-user.

Those ways included hiring agents, be they importers, distributors, influencers and public relations professionals. Or wine experts, such as master sommeliers or masters of wine, and so on. Of course, as well, one could also venture out on their own, as a sole strategy, or in concert with any number of agencies one hired to further the goal of selling out the wine. Traveling the world, as so many daughters and sons and granddaughters and grandsons have found out, is thrilling. To not be sequestered in Alba or Siena, while the world outside those walls is turning and they’re just waiting for all the Marco Polos who are itching to discover the world with their wine.

And, not to overlook it, there are the trade shows – Vinitaly, Prowein, Gambero Rosso Road and Slow Wine Road shows. And expert seminars and workshops, not to mention the all important and seemingly ubiquitous “master classes” that bespeckle the planet. And that’s just the “in the flesh” happenings.

There is now a lively stream of virtual happenings, whether it be on Zoom or Skype. These are becoming more prevalent since the Covid pandemic has restricted travel and tightened the budgets. And they are proving to be a good pivot. Time and money savers. Reaching more people in the little corners of the world where travel might be, even in the best of times, challenging.  

But what if you’re one of those people for whom all this screening and sequestering has left you a little empty inside? If you’re an extrovert, you don’t even have to answer that, we already know. You’re chomping at the bit, dying to get back to New York, Miami, San Francisco, Houston, Tokyo, Shanghai, Copenhagen, Bangkok, Melbourne and Christchurch. But the world, is it ready for you yet? Some of it surely is.

And what if you’re one of those for whom these past two years have left you a little more than reticent than you once were. Maybe you’re introverted and all this running around exhausts you.

Still, the question remains, how do you get someone to love you and love your wine?

Let me be perfectly clear on this – you are building, or rebuilding, relationships fractured by a world that is in disruption. But those relationships, for the most part, are transactional. You want something. The end-user also wants something. In between, there can be a good number of positive vibrations. But this is a business. That your business is to get someone, or something, to love what it is you’re representing, can be well-meaning. You’re just trying to get someone to love your wine. How bad can that be for the earth?

The crossroads that you are at, is deciding how much of “you” needs to be “face-to-face” with the rest of “us.”

It’s going to be different for everyone.

From one who was on the road for a quarter of a century, for a generation, looking back, I wish I’d had some of the tools we have now, back then. Zoom, blogs, artisanal importers and distributors, a much larger swath of wine expertise and a much more inclusive and diverse group of souls involved in this enterprise. I think there are more people who want to help you find folks to love you, love your wine. That’s the good news.

The challenge? How are you going to parse all the components so that not only you are successful, but that you don’t spend half your life in airports and hotel lobby bars, waiting for that love to find you. The right kind of love.

wine blog +  Italian wine blog + Italy W
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