Gritty, Raw, International, Diverse, Exciting, Depressing, Humbling

These are the words that describe the NY wine selling experience. In a given day, I recently saw buyers from India, Peru, Taiwan, China, Italy, and of course, the melting pot of the good old US of A. Truly, this is one of the most ethnically diverse wine markets in the world. Buyers and gatekeepers of the trade (those who decide which wines to put on store shelves and restaurant wine lists) are as diverse as I've ever seen. I had to rely on every sales tactic I could think of—at one point, I'm sure I even resorted to outright batting of the eyelashes, which I'm not proud of, but heck, I was there to make the sale! There was something exciting and scary about it at the same time, and I must admit I loved every second of it. The wine market in New York is unlike any I've experienced, a colorful kaleidoscope of wines and wine buyers from every corner of the globe. It's thrilling while at the same time humbling as one realizes how truly insignificant you are in today's world of wine. (Sorry starry eyed winemakers but if you're just getting started, be prepared for a wake up call—nobody “needs” your new Syrah or hand crafted Merlot.)

I used every mode of transportation possible to get around the city- my legs, the subway, the public bus system, a guy on a bike pulling a rickshaw, and of course the famed yellow cabs of NY. I also learned very quickly that my version of “comfort” shoes didn't do justice to pounding the pavement New York style.

Each night I had some sort of business dinner at a cutting edge restaurant. While the balls of my feet burned from my day on the streets, Click photo to enlarge!my taste buds rejoiced as I continued to tell the Dry Creek story for all who would listen. I felt like a religious missionary, trying to create DCV converts, one person at a time.

As I reflect back, I'd say the trip was a success. Sales were made, relationships forged, and DCV zealots are sprouting up in the Big Apple. I even promised my distributor I'd be back one more time before the end of the year. Until then, I'm putting away my BS detector and passing the baton to my hubby.

Today he heads to Texas to do the same thing all over again…

| | Comments (5)


pigeonofdoom Author Profile Page said:
September 21, 2010 3:23 AM

Good entry as ever! I remember reading an entry on a blog somewhere saying that a winemaker has to be just as at home on a sales floor than they are in the vineyard/cellar. I can imagine that at an event such as this, that statement is even more relevant! You're right in saying that nobody 'needs' your new syrah, I come up against this every day. The hard part is making them think that they need it. But i'm sure with the quality of your wines, it wasn't too hard a sell. Glad the trip was productive!


Hampers uk said:
September 21, 2010 1:06 PM

When a sale needs to be done, it needs to be done. I'm sure you had a lot of fun so you actually managed to mix business with enjoying yourself. I'm sure you loved the trip, right?

Highlandchef Author Profile Page said:
September 21, 2010 1:37 PM

Hi Kim it's Uncle Brad! Great job as always. I now more about whats going on with you guys than I do by the phone... Love to you and the rest of the clan. B

Kim (aka Wilma) Author Profile Page said:
September 21, 2010 9:59 PM

While many on the producer side of our industry are trained winemakers, growers, marketing/pr agents, hospitality specialists, etc. it's rare that we actually get the specialized sales training we need to be a success in such a competitive marketplace. So there's a certain amount of "winging it" that goes on. But it really just comes down to relationships: people buy wine from people they like. (That assumes of course that the wines are top quality, fairly priced, etc.) This really isn't any different from when we used to sell our wines in the 70s, 80s, or 90s, it's just that there are so many more of labels to choose from today, so truthfully, no one "needs" any one particular brand.
P.S. Hi Uncle B!

Hampers uk said:
September 26, 2010 7:06 AM

I agree completely with what you said Kim. But I'm sure the like-ability factor can't help, if people don't like the products, right?

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This page contains a single entry by Kim published on September 20, 2010 1:22 PM.

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