- I don't spend nearly enough time reading and writing
- I don't spend nearly enough time with my wine geek friends
A means to reach that end is to spend more time with my wine geek friends. It's becoming all too apparent that hanging out with such winophiles enriches my life and the lives of others around me. It opens discussions, though heated at times, can only lead to the greater advancement of what's on the shelves at your local store. That's not to say my non-wineophile friends can't join in the fun. We're more than happy to increase the party. Come on over. Just don't call us "elitists" when we start geeking out on the virtues of new wood versus used and whether or not Michel Rolland was a good thing for the industry and wine in general. Instead, ask us questions and if we don't know the answer, let's find out together so that we all better ourselves, our palates and our souls.
For the last three years of my life I have let the retailer in me run the show. And while successes have been had, he's buried the passionate wine lover, the guy who could spend countless hours talking to customers about Joseph Pedicini and how he makes wine the way his grandmother would have. I have some people to blame for that. Of course, that's not to say I lost my passion for the juice. But, I've grown tired of the everyday rig-amoral. I just recently realized the retailer in me morphed my job, my being, my soul, into sales. I never wanted to sell. I never intended to sell. And to those that I sold to, my apologies. I wanted to teach and learn, bottle by bottle. And if you wanted a case, GREAT! My job is not a sales job. Leave that to the discounters, the guys on the phone pushing Silverado to one guy for a chance to sell DRC to another. I'm leaving that game and moving on. My job, as it always has been, is to enrich others lives through the development of their palates. I can't do that with flashy labels. I can't do that with a bloated inventory. I can't do it with shelf talkers. But I can do it by bringing the passionate wine lover back to the front. I can do it with careful selection. I can do it with knowledge. I can do it if the customer will let me. I challenge others to do the same. I know some have already taken the charge. The revolution will start soon. And maybe, just maybe, I've saved my soul. I have some people to thank for that.