Here’s the thing.
No matter how excited you are about a wine and the winery and people who produce it; no matter how many great blog and social media posts you create; no matter how much you love your work in the world of wine…
It still comes down to that one singular thing: Do other people like the wine enough to buy it?
It was with no small sense of trepidation that this brand ambassador began his first “work with” for Amistà in Miami yesterday.
After all, on paper, Amistà has everything going for it. It’s made from historic vineyards located literally in the heart of the Nizza DOCG, one of Italy’s newest and most talked about appellations. The vines are old. The farming is organic and biodynamic. The Tortonian soils where the grapes are grown (the same as those found in La Morra in Barolo) are ideal for the production of nuanced, long-lived wines. The winemaker is one of Italy’s most renowned and its his first project in Piedmont, Italy’s most in-demand wine region. He’s charting new ground by doing extended macerations and not barriquing the wines. Upcoming releases potentially include wine raised in amphora. The owner is a super groovy dude to boot.
But none of the above matters unless the “accounts” and “buyers,” as we say in the trade, like the wine and find it relevant for their wine programs. Amistà is no cheap date and the moment of truth had — gulp — arrived.
To be perfectly honest, yesterday felt like a dream. My “ride with,” i.e., the “rep” who set up our sales calls for the day, took me to five accounts. And miraculously, every one of them committed to an order!
And when I write miraculously, it’s not because I didn’t believe that these wines would be embraced by my peers and colleagues. No, it’s because no one sells that much wine on their first day “in the market.” It was a truly amazing experience and I say that as a 20-year+ veteran in the industry.
It didn’t hurt that my ride with was one of the most talented people I’ve ever met in the business (Roberto, thank you, man!). But in the end, there’s only one thing that matters. Do the wines live up to the hype? I’m here to tell you that, yessiree, they most definitely do!
I still have two more days in the market with Amistà’s importer Ethica Wines. But I cannot praise and thank them enough for the “week” of “market work” they put together for us here in Miami. (I’ve been writing the wine trade terms in quotes to give laypeople a sense of our parlance.)
Oh, and the photo above, you ask? As any good wine rep will tell you, you never kiss and tell…
Thank you, Miami wine community, for letting me pour you a few tastes this week. Thank you, you are wonderful! I couldn’t have enjoyed a warmer welcome. Thanks for reminding me how much I love what I do for a living.