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Being in the middle of the supply chain can be a little confusing. On a daily basis, you find yourself serving many masters. Your employer, who at the end of the day, would seem to trump all, but you are also getting pressure from your customers and in the other direction on the supply chain-suppliers, wineries etc. Unfortunately, these 3 are basically never aligned in their needs.
We're all guilty of it, judging people by the wine they (think) they like. Some of us actually (but not sincerely) tell people to "drink what they like" There are certain things you are supposed to say you like at every juncture of your wine evolution. Eventually, you start saying things like "Americans are so dumb, they don't even know the wines of (blah, blah, blah obscure region).
I've been wanting to write this post for some time, but each time, it became too specific and autobiographical. You see, breaking up with someone in this business is more emotionally complex than one would expect. I've done it many times. I have parted ways with 17 different wineries in 5 years. 17! I've stopped working with some half dozen distributors.
There are exactly 2 kinds of buyers in the world. Buyers that get it and buyers that don't. Buyers that get it, endeavor towards balance, diversity and harmony, buyers that don't, are too caught up in one thing (for everyone, that one thing is different). The buyer that "Gets it": Looks for a solid worldview for their selection, diverse enough to have something for everyone that ...
Sushi is a special and magical product. It may take a lifetime to master the balance of flavors, the perfect cuts, the technique. In the seminal film, Jiro Dreams of Sushi, this is the theme that is hammered home from the start. Jiro seemingly places sushi above everything, even family at times. The 85 yr old master believes that his son is still too green.
I've got to assume if you are reading a wine sales blog, you are aware of the phenomenon of OND. It's a topic I've already discussed here. For the uninitiated. OND is October-December, and historical conventional wisdom suggests that nearly 1/2 your sales for the year is this time period. The thing is, that's just not the case anymore. I spend a lot of time staring at spreadsheets.