Wild Stories from the Front Lines

Last week in this blog I talked about some of the experiences consumers have related to me about things that have happened while they were wine tasting.  I have since received a request to write about the behavior of hospitality employees when visiting other wineries.  While I don’t believe that winery employees misbehaving when out wine tasting is a regular occurrence, it’s definitely worth mentioning.

Here are some examples of remarks made by winery employees during visits to other wineries: “Your wines are okay but nowhere near as good as ours. You should fire your winemaker and hire ours.”  This was said very loudly in a full tasting room to the winemaker. Another: “Why should we want to buy a bottle of your wine when we get all our winery’s wine much cheaper?” Finally: “Hey, are you going to drink that?” This was asked of a visitor who was not with the group from the other winery. The employee of the other winery, without waiting for an answer, picked up the glass and finished the wine. It was reported that the winery employee was very drunk.

There doesn’t seem to be any particular age group or experience level that’s responsible for these infractions; they were younger and older, new hires and long-time employees.

Part of the reason these things happen, I believe, is that the amount of wine we can drink without it interfering with our judgment may change with each outing. Additionally, like regular tasters, winery employees are a fun loving bunch who may not realize they’ve had too much wine until it’s way past too late.

So wineries make part of your procedures manual a section on visiting other wineries.  This section should include requesting inter-winery discounts, when and how to do it; attitude and behavior; what is and isn’t appropriate and over imbibing. Winery personnel should remember that they are representatives of the winery they work for and their behavior reflects on that winery.

Next time you’re out tasting, as pleasant as it is, you’re not a regular taster, you represent the wine industry and your winery.

Selamat! (To Your Health!) – Indonesia

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One comment on “Wild Stories from the Front Lines

  1. Morovino says:

    I’m glad it doesn’t happen every day, but it does happen more frequently than it should. Thanks for pointing this out.

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