Look, you’re really nice… and I can tell you work very hard at trying to be everyone’s friend. But I don’t need you to be my friend. I need you to be my Winebuyer.
Every week I bring you a random smattering of wines that have nothing to do with any requests you give me because you never give me any requests. I ask if you’re looking for anything in specific… I get vague answers in return. We taste… you apparently love everything I pour you… I ask you which wines you could see working in your program, you give me a list that excludes maybe only one out of the 6 wines I’ve shown you that day and then I spend a good 5 minutes reading off to you the laundry list of reminders I already have for your establishment. This is completely non-productive.
I can think of a few reasons for your constant positivity. Maybe you lack the confidence in your knowledge to criticize in case I call your bluff… let me assure you, I listen to streams of bullshit all day long without correcting or negating. Possibly you really do just have the broadest palate in the world… doubtful. If you’re trying to get in my pants, you would more likely be buying more from me, so I doubt that’s it. Plus I have the sneaking suspicion that you’re gay but afraid to tell your peers…
I think you’re afraid of offending me. DON’T BE. I didn’t make the wines, I couldn’t care less whether or not you like it. Well, I suppose that’s not exactly true. I WANT you to love it, I want you to bring it in and sell cases and cases of it because you love it so much and you can’t help but tell everyone who walks in the door what a fantastic wine it is. And I can help you find that wine if you would give me the tiniest little inkling of what your palate is like. Because right now, according to my notes, you love just about everything. French, Hungarian, American oak, check-check-check. Love it all. Concrete Carbonic? All over it. Natural wine with no added sulfur? Yup, you’re all about it. Frankenstein lab-made wine? You love that too. Old world Spanish, new world Spanish… you appreciate them both. Huge alcohol bombs dripping in residual sugar cloaked in wood chips? Tasty stuff. Sometimes I bring you the worst I have to offer, just to see how you’ll react. And you always somehow manage to sip it with a smile on your face. Dude, how’s the Prozac cloud you’re living on? Any room for one more?
Of course I can appreciate a buyer that is looking out for the masses, trying to offer something for everyone, but when you don’t like a wine, I need you to tell me. And I need you to tell me WHY you don’t like a wine. And when you like a wine, I need you to buy it. Because that’s how this whole thing between us is supposed to work.
Sometimes I wish I could bring a few clueless winebuyers on a shadow day with me. I’ve got some winebuyers that are absolute pricks. Sure, I don’t spend any more time with them than I have to, and I some days dread going in to take my beatings with them, but in some ways, their prickishness pays off. (NEW WORD: PRICKISHNESS. Add it to your cell phone’s dictionary because Auto Correct will certainly jack you on that one) I don’t waste their time with shit they’re not going to buy, and they don’t waste mine by trying to sugarcoat our meeting to make me feel all good about myself. They tell me what their needs are, I meet them to the best of my ability. Our relationship is both efficient and mutually beneficial, even if I do want to bomb their houses or slash their tires on a bi-monthly basis.
It’s not personal. It’s business. I promise I won’t cry if you say you’re not a big fan of American oak with your Tempranillo. And I promise I won’t go home and swallow a bottle of pills and leave your name on the note if you say you have no interest in any of the wines I just poured for you. Quit being such a namby-pamby, suck it up, and give criticism.