Dear Winebuyer,

Allow me to introduce myself… I am your wine rep. Well, one of many of course… I’m highly aware of my competition. Here is my portfolio, and my business card. I will no doubt have to give you the same portfolio at least seven times this quarter, and I’m not even sure why I will continue to do so as your type never seems to even glance at it, beyond the front cover. But it’s the same ol’ song and dance, and I’m used to it by now. Allow me to briefly dazzle you with the wonderful labels that I sell… There. Impressive, right?

You and I will possibly be seeing a lot of each other in the weeks or months or even possibly years to come, but that of course depends upon several factors. Allow me to outline a few below, just to begin…

You will see me on a regular basis that suits your liking if…

  • You keep your job for longer than 3 months. You see, you’re the 4th F&B manager I’ve met here at this establishment in less than a year’s time. I’m not holding my breath that you’ll make it through Christmas, quite honestly.
  • You refrain from staring at my tits. Well, actually… here’s the thing. Stare all you like, as long as you buy wine from me. If you keep stringing me along for that Pinot Noir glass pour that I will no doubt be reminding you about for the duration of your employment with no sign of pulling the trigger, this arrangement may change.
  • You don’t waste my time. I promise not to waste yours… I’m a thoughtful wine rep, I promise to learn what you like and don’t like over time as long as you promise to give me honest feedback. If you buy when you say you’ll buy, and if you prove not to be an enormous pain in the ass, we shall continue on in a cordial manner. Business as usual.

So there’s just a brief introduction. I’m looking forward to a semi-productive possibly somewhat enjoyable working relationship for the next few months before you are replaced again.

wine rep

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Sheldon Haynie December 19, 2011 at 11:51 pm

Thanks for educating us on what NOT to do to a rep, before we actually have one. We’re at the just getting started point, and at some point would be probably seeking to expand by having representation.

If you cover CA by any chance, and would care to discuss, please drop a line.




Mike Kafka February 14, 2012 at 5:43 am

Hi Sheldon,

I would love the opportunity to meet with you… as a “sales rep!”

I’m a “wine broker” representing eigth (8) Napa Valley family wineries… and would love the chance to sit down with you and taste through my portfolio!

Please feel free to contact me at any time to set up a convenient time to meet!



Jeff December 24, 2011 at 5:50 am



Brett December 29, 2011 at 4:49 pm

As a supplier who has done a few “ride-alongs” I can tell you, you are not alone my friend. But there is only a few reps who get it


Christie January 5, 2012 at 5:19 pm

These posts brighten my day and make me laugh hysterically. Thanks for sharing.


that small 'artisan' pain in the ass winemaker type February 20, 2012 at 6:04 am

this is a great web site very funny… I would love to read a “do and don’t list to winemakers” … I’m new (first vintage in 2006 – although hubs and I in the business since 1996) I have a hand full of reps in those ‘key’ markets and I must say I really do love them all they are doing a great job for us!… After my last ride along I did actually feel like my rep ‘got me’ was truly excited to rep my brand … he took me to a rock star wish list of places and yes it’s his job to make me feel all loved and warm and fuzzy but hell it worked… and when that big fat dinner tab came at the end of the night I honestly was ‘happy’ to get it… you work your butt of for me and I DO appreciate it … I do think that a ‘do’s and don’t’ list would be fun and perhaps educational to read…. ’cause hell at the end of the day if we follow all the unwritten rules you will keep us in mind for the new fabulous restaurant grand opening with that rising star somm. doing the list right : ) cheers


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