Rediscovering the wonder

on 11 August, 2017
Escapement, lug, onion crown, tourbillon… since I recently bought an automatic wristwatch, these previously meaningless terms have become loaded with intrigue and interest. I had no expectation of becoming a watch nerd, and it has been a satisfying new experience to delve into an unknown world. It’s been equally satisfying to tell the time without having to look at my phone.

Discovering this new interest has reminded me of what I first found fascinating about wine. The longer we spend in the industry, the more jaded we can become. What often starts out as an enthusiastic passion decays into cynicism brought on by the daily drag of a professional life.

Hence we periodically need to remind ourselves how fortunate we are to work with wine. Here are a few ways to rekindle the flame and remind yourself of the thrill that wine can give.

1. Share the wonder

Training your staff and educating customers is one of the best ways to maintain your own enthusiasm. Imparting your knowledge gives you the gratification of improving other people’s understanding, as well as reminding yourself what you find so interesting about wine. Remember how it felt when you first tasted great wine – and pay it forward.

2. Use your suppliers

Every wine retailer has access to tremendous resources through suppliers. Wherever you are in the country, good wholesalers and agency businesses should be able to help and, ultimately, to sell more of their wine. Whether it’s tech sheets to allow you to write reviews or in-store tastings with the winemakers, make sure your suppliers are working for you.

3. Use competitions

Competitions provide a great reason to get behind a cause with a specific deadline. There are plenty of awards that wine retailers can enter themselves into, which gives the pride of competing against peers, and incentivises you to find the passion that drives you to work with wine. You could even set up your own competition for staff or customers to encourage engagement in your local community.

4. Travel

Seeing the world’s great vineyard sites is surely the primary advantage of working in the wine industry. Walking among the vines that produce your favourite wines, seeing the grapes ripening, feeling cold barrels in underground cellars – it never fails to produce a thrill. Ask your favourite producers and generic promotional bodies to help you plan a visit and you will find warm welcomes.

5. Practice what you preach

This simple piece of advice is often the hardest to follow. Finding a moment each day to appreciate the pleasures in a glass of wine often gets forgotten amid cashing up and date-rotating soft drinks. Yet this is when you can rediscover your inner enthusiasm – simply by appreciating the wonder of wine.

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