Monday, July 10, 2017

Rant: Wine Tastings Without Passion

Importers/distributors often conduct wine tastings at various wine stores, trying to garner interest in their wines, with the ultimate goal of selling more wine. I've attended many of these tastings, and was even at one yesterday afternoon. Yesterday's importer/distributor, who offered five Georgian wines for sampling, possessed a deep passion for the wines and region, and his passion was more than evident as he presented his wines to many different consumers.

Because of his passion, he excited the consumers about his wines and sold a good number of those wines. Without that passion, the tasting would have been far less successful, and could have even been a bust. I've been at those tastings too, where the importer/distributor is just going through the motions, a passionless stance, where it almost seems the importer/distributor would rather be elsewhere. Consumers notice and tend to avoid the tasting table, or if they do taste the wines don't get as excited about them. Less wines get sold.

Wine tastings are one of the best ways to get consumers interested in different wines, those they might not have purchased on their own, unwilling to take a risk on an unknown. However, those different wines also need a passionate advocate to inform and persuade consumers on the reasons they should taste and enjoy those different wines. If a importer/distributor has an unsuccessful wine tasting, maybe they should first consider whether their presenter showcased a passion for the wines or not. And if the presenter lacked that passion, it is time to choose another presenter.

When I work at the wine shop, I often see how my passion for certain wines appeals to consumers, causing them to take a chance on a wine they might never have tasted before. I've had customers eavesdrop on me describing a wine to another customer, and be so intrigued by my passion, they then ask to buy that same wine. That wouldn't happen if I was passionless in my advocacy for the wine.

Obviously, the importance of passion applies in many other fields as well, from food to books. As consumers, we understand how we are attracted to those salespeople who possess passion, who excite us about their products. Wine shops need to support passionate importer/distributors, and inform the non-passionate ones that they need to step up their game.

1 comment:

Sue said...

Wish we'd have a Georgian tasting here in the city -just wrapping up a big piece on Georgian wines for next issue. I've been very impressed with them and the more I learn about them, the more interested I am. Great salespeople are a huge plus to both the store and the consumer.