when it just doesn’t add up…

April 13, 2012 · 2 comments

Dear Winebuyer,

I’m so appreciative of the placements I’ve been given at your establishment. I know you’re a very small account, but also one of the newest, hippest spots in my territory and all of the reps are clamoring for a piece of the action. And although I don’t have the lion’s share of the list, I’m pleased with my slice of the pie thus far.

We’ve been going along at a pretty good clip for the past 6 months or so since you opened, and now suddenly you’re asking me to drop off full sample bottles of my wines you pour by the glass with which to train your staff.

And here’s where I give pause.

You pour these wines by the glass, which means you have them open at all times. You’ve been pouring them for a good two months now. And you have a staff of four servers. So let’s say you pour each of these servers a generous 2-ounce portion of each wine… that’s about 8 oz. I’ll round up and say that is 237mLs of each 750mL bottle.

Okay, so I’m not going to get all petty about the remaining 513 mLs in those bottles and what you’re going to do with it… since we both know you’ll be selling it all off later that night. It’s really no big deal to pull you a couple samples (even if it is illegal and puts both our licenses at risk)… I’m just saying that this seems a little silly.

I have a new proposition. How ’bout we set a meeting. A staff training with yours truly. And I bring the wines you have on the bottle list too… the wines your staff really doesn’t get the opportunity to taste. I pour the 2-oz portions for your staff of four… heck, I’ll even offer to pour more if anyone needs to revisit anything. I’ll bring my best game face and win your staff over so that they’ll want to sell my wine before anyone else’s.  And at the end of all this, your staff can also sell a better portion of your list with confidence beyond the wines you pour by the glass… and I can pour the wines for my appointments the following day. No laws broken, you don’t feel dirty for basically stealing from my company, and your staff is more incentivized to sell a larger number of wines.

Win/Win, no?


Wine Rep

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Gut Microflora April 13, 2012 at 10:51 pm

“you don’t feel dirty for basically stealing from my company”
I stroke my chin, peer into the middle distance, & wonder aloud: “I wonder aloud if any wine-buyer has ever felt dirty for poncing a sample bottle or three off a hapless wine rep? Within reason, isn’t that merely the cost of doing beeswax aka rewarding wine-buyer for not hospitalizing wine rep?”


Jaded Importer April 19, 2012 at 4:16 am

We are small importer/distributors and as such keep track of every sample. We also know the customers that do this sort of thing and take the same approach suggested by Wine Rep – I will happily pour for and educate a customer’s staff. If a rep suggests that she/he needs an extra bottle for the customer to train staff, the rep has a choice – we will supply the bottle if they do the training OR they can buy the bottle. We simply can’t afford to give stuff away.


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