Educating Sommeliers Worldwide.
By Beverage Trade Network
I came from the cruise line world, hotels, as well as Information Technology as a sales executive and project coordinator. When I left IT I was originally looking to do project management. When visiting my late father some 10 years ago for dinner, we discussed my future. My late father was a prolific homebrewer and winemaker. He convinced me, due to my mixology background from hotels and event centres, to pursue the wine and beer industries.
As the owner, I handle most of the core responsibilities of the business - live and virtual wine and beer tastings, virtual dinner parties as well as video branding for wineries and breweries.
Rob Statham, Owner at The Drunken Grape, Source: Rob Statham
I would look at sales reports first to get insight into what styles and price ranges are selling most. Sales drive everything in a business.
They can reach out to me for advice.
I am not a restauranteur myself so this doesn’t really apply. I would say locally speaking here in Ottawa, Canada, that Beckta’s does a brilliant job with their wine list under entrepreneur and sommelier Stephen Beckta. His range of old and new world wines, the diversity in styles as well as price range suits his mid to upper-tier clients.
Reading, tasting, studying, and expanding my business
Rob at CTV Morning Live in Ottawa, Source: Rob Statham
Offering 1-2 oz tastings to upsell clients to purchase more expensive and better wine, as well as gaining a list of private customers to sell wine directly to.
If it fits its typicity if it is well constructed with some complexity, great flavor, and balance.
Sommeliers often handle wine requests on the restaurant floor, help to upsell products to drive much greater revenue by exposing clients to wines they would not have otherwise tried (as most are pattern drinkers), they support servers and bartenders in explaining and educating clientele. Wine directors often oversee and manage the wine, spirits, and sometimes beer within the operation itself, as well as managing the cellar and meeting with suppliers and prospective suppliers.
Rob at a brewery, Source: Rob Statham
An engaging and positive personality that is customer service-centric is vital for this role. Knowledge can always be learned and you want to find someone who is not arrogant with knowledge (a common problem), who is a humble student of the game. You also need someone who is willing to support all other aspects of the operation that has the drive and a hard work ethic. A great team player mentality is crucial too.
You always have to cater to your audience.