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Dec 23

Wine Shop Wednesday: The Most Expensive Wine in the Bar

This week we welcome Bryant Phillips to Wine Shop Wednesday. You may remember Bryant from Sturkey’s or Chalk. Currently you can find him out at the excellent Wise Owl Wine Bar in West Chester. If you’re anywhere near IKEA, you’re near the Wise Owl. Stop by and have a drink – it’s worth it. I visited last week and fell in love with the place.

Last week I got into a conversation with two of our guests about a particular wine.  In itself, this fact is not unusual; however, this wine happens to be on our list for $274.  We discussed the varietal composition, heritage, etc.  But after they left, I was still thinking about our 2006 Bodegas El Nido conversation even into the next day.

The wine is made by Aussie Winemaker extraordinaire Chris Ringland in the rustic dry region of Spain called Jumilla.  I usually tell people that El Nido is the Granddaddy of obnoxious Spanish wine.  I think that is a misconception though.  El Nido is more like your rich Uncle who lives in the city, drives a Porsche, is a consummate bachelor, and slips the kids an XBOX 360 for Christmas, even though they might not deserve it.

From the satin label to the inky black color, this wine exudes cool.  It’s capability to cellar for more than a decade is impressive, but so is it’s ability to be consumed right now, attributed to its powerful yet balanced structure and depth.

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Copyright Creative Commons by-nc-nd My Wine Education.
Posted by Michelle at 8:03 am in Wine Shop Wednesday | Permalink | Comments (1)
Dec 16

Wine Shop Wednesday: Relationships

This is the one of several recurring posts from David Lazarus about the intricacies of opening and running a wine shop. David’s posts will appear on Wednesdays. I’m also starting to get interest from other wine shops, so hopefully we’ll be seeing a lot of different perspectives in this column.

There are several relationships that I must maintain in order to have our business continue to grow.  After the relationship with my customers, the interaction with my distributor representatives is probably the most critical to the business. The reps have the ability to either bring good deals or new products to my attention or just take my wine orders.

I tried to make it clear, to each of the almost dozen men and women who I work with, that our relationship is a partnership and that my aim is to treat them as partners. It is clearly in both of our best interests that I make money, since when I sell wine we both make money! I have seen situations where reps are treated like lackeys when they do not perform as the store owner expects them to.

Please do not get me wrong, I am far from perfect and am sure that I do not always treat our reps the as I have outlined above. I have however encouraged my reps to let em know when I am out of line. I have tried to be flexible. Jan and I have asked them to an appreciation dinner after the first of the year in the hope that we can cement the kind of relationship for which I am striving. Those of you who have shopped the store will benefit from this relationship through consistent good service and continued exciting new wines.

On a technology note we are still getting acquainted with our e-mail service, so there may be issues with timeliness of delivery. I will apologize in advance and keep my fingers crossed that we will get things figured out sooner rather than later. We are also planning a very special customer appreciation tasting for January and the date will be posted on the web site once it is planned. Also for those of you who are fans of great Champagne, we will be having a grower Champagne brunch the Sunday before Valentine’s day. This event is reservations only and should be really fun.

As always thanks to those who have already helped make this venture a success and we look forward to serving those of you who have not made it in yet.

___

Don’t forget to enter our contest for the red wine stain remover! Just leave a comment on the contest post and we’ll announce the three lucky winners on Thursday!

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Copyright Creative Commons by-nc-nd My Wine Education.
Posted by Michelle at 8:00 am in Wine Shop Wednesday | Permalink | Comments ()
Dec 09

Wine Shop Wednesday: Day to Day

This is the one of several recurring posts from David Lazarus about the intricacies of opening and running a wine shop. David’s posts will appear on Wednesdays. I’m also starting to get interest from other wine shops, so hopefully we’ll be seeing a lot of different perspectives in this column.

Store operations are starting to settle into a routine. Since we are a new store, we are not getting swamped like many other stores do this season. We have had a slight bump in our already steady sales. Thanks to Michelle and Kevin we were able to launch our e-mail newsletter this week, which makes it a lot easier to get the word out about goings on at the store. I continue to be surprised at the tremendous deals on fantastic wines on the Ohio side of the river. Many of these discounts remind me of those I was used to when I worked in Kentucky. I am happy to offer my customers such good deals and must refrain from taking wine home for myself.

We hosted dessert for the annual Water Tower lighting the Saturday after Thanksgiving and had several hundred people through our building. It was a good move to show our commitment to community involvement and all in all it went very well. The only issue I had was that they closed the street in front of our building several hours before the event started and had neglected to mention it beforehand. Hopefully next year we will coordinate better with the city. Our customer base continues to grow and our inventory is now almost nine hundred different wines.

Our computer system is almost complete. I had a scare the other day when it just quit on me. After three plus hours with my local computer specialist, we had salvaged the inventory and all other important data from the hard drive, which we determined was corrupted. I now have a temporary hard drive until we get a replacement for the damaged one. I am keeping my fingers crossed that the change out goes smoothly and that this is the last computer issue I have with our POS system.

I continue to be indebted to all of those who have helped our business succeed. To sign up for our new e-mail newsletter, go to the web site and click on subscribe at the bottom of the main page. Thanks again!

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Copyright Creative Commons by-nc-nd My Wine Education.
Posted by Michelle at 2:52 pm in Wine Shop Wednesday, Wine Shops | Permalink | Comments ()
Dec 02

Wine Shop Wednesday: Sampling Wines

This is the one of several recurring posts from David Lazarus about the intricacies of opening and running a wine shop. David’s posts will appear on Wednesdays.

Recently I met with a couple of small wine companies, one who distributes small Washington state wine and the other who imports a couple of wineries from Argentina. I was initially a little leery of the the Argentinean importer, because I have rarely been blown away by wine from Argentina. However, after trying a dozen of his wines  – from a $10 wine to the flagship wines in the upper $40 range -  my mind was very much changed. I ordered  almost a dozen of the wines I tried, including a Sangiovese  and high end Cabernet Franc. All were exceptional and good for the money.

I was able to try through three cases of wine with the gentleman from Washington State. I brought in another dozen wines from him, including a Riesling ice wine and some fantastic blends. These wines are all limited and I felt lucky to get a shot at them.

I am looking forward to doing tastings in the future featuring each of these new distributors. I also have a nice 2005 Bourdeaux coming that has been reduced by half at $19.99.  Daily operations are becoming normal and I am almost 2/3 through my proofing of the POS entries. I am looking forward to the gift giving season  and all the excitement to come.

Once again I want to thank all of you who have helped to make our venture a success so far and we look forward to serving you in the future.

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Copyright Creative Commons by-nc-nd My Wine Education.
Posted by Michelle at 8:14 am in Wine Shop Wednesday, Wine Shops | Permalink | Comments ()
Nov 11

Wine Shop Wednesday: Moving Right Along

This is the one of several recurring posts from David Lazarus about the intricacies of opening and running a wine shop. David’s posts will appear on Wednesdays.

Things are starting to settle into a routine. We closed the books on our first month and I was very pleased with how we did; sales figures surpasses what I had anticipated. We must be doing something right!

There have been loads of year-end deals from the wineries and I have been bringing in the ones I think are the best bang for the buck. Our tastings continue to be well attended and I even figured out, thanks to Michelle how to add up to date info to our calendar of events on the web site. Thanks Michelle! We have planned some fun tastings through Thanksgiving and have more treats on the drawing board before Christmas.

Though most things are going well, I am still fighting with our POS system and the company I paid to set it up. I have made it through about half of the inventory, as far as cross checking what is entered into the computer. It will be a joy when this is done and functioning as it was intended. Construction on the store is almost finished for now and things are looking very nice. We may soon move our wine pouring station into the future tasting room and wine bar.

All and all for our first month-plus, I am thrilled with how we are doing. People are responding well to our marketing technique and my concept of a wine store and we have had a number of repeat customers. Knock on wood things are going well and hopefully as winter settles in and the holidays progress they will only get better. Thanks again to all of you who have helped to make this venture a success  this far!

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Copyright Creative Commons by-nc-nd My Wine Education.
Posted by Michelle at 6:55 am in Wine Shop Wednesday, Wine Shops | Permalink | Comments ()

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