Beverage Dynamics

Beverage Dynamics - March/April 2017

Beverage Dynamics is the largest national business magazine devoted exclusively to the needs of off-premise beverage alcohol retailers, from single liquor stores to big box chains, through coverage of the latest trends in wine, beer and spirits.

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wine BUSINESS 10 Beverage Dynamics • March/April 2017 innovative wine-food pairings. So my son and I will meet with many produc- ers of wines that we know will reso- nate with American consumers and be commercially successful, but we will also use this event as an opportunity to expand our horizons. We will sample British sparklers, big reds from Israel's Galilee Valley, Austrian Rieslings, and Pinotage from South Africa. Then we will really get risqué and sample wines from more obscure growing regions like Bosnia-Herzegovina, Switzerland, Hungary, Lebanon and Uruguay. Ul- timately, we will certainly spend the lion's share of our time meeting pro- ducers that sell beautiful and correct wines that resonate with American consumers. But in the world of wine, it's import- ant to expand your horizons to have a more holistic understanding of the busi- ness. That's how you serve customers better. BD JONATHAN NEWMAN is widely recognized as a leader in the wine industry. As chairman of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, he was the nation's largest wine buyer and brought a number of popular innovations to bear, including the Chairman's Selection program and opening of local stores for Sun- day sales. Jonathan has received signifi cant industry accolades during his career. Follow him on Twitter at @NewmanWine and visit his website: AN ENDLESS EDUCATION BY JONATHAN H. NEWMAN It is most important for premier wine retailers to immerse them- selves in the world of wine and educate their palates. One of the best methods to expand your horizons and understand the di- verse taste profi le of wines and fi nd treasures for your consumers is to attend trade tastings. As a young man, I found myself running a retail chain of over 600 stores with $1.7 billion in sales (the Pennsylvania Li- quor Control Board) and began a fast and furious education to evolve from simply being a wine lover to a knowledgeable wine purchaser. During the next decade, I read voluminously, visited many wineries and met with top wine retailers throughout the country. It was the large trade tastings that were the most transformational and developed the expanse of my palate. And I highly recommend this for wine retailers that are serious about offering their customers superior and unique wines. The fi rst major wine trade show I attended was the London International Wine and Sprits Fair, in May of 2001, which inspired me to found the Philadelphia and Pittsburgh Wine festivals. I had an epiphany at that fi rst trade show that made me realize that understanding the world of wine (let alone consumer shopping patterns) was going to take a disciplined and signifi cant commitment. I highly recommend retail staff attend international wine tasting trade events and de- velop personal relationships with wineries to establish a more sophisticated and diverse selection of wines for customers. Of course, wine selections must fi rst and foremost be commercially desirable to customers. There are many trade shows around the world, but the "must-attend" event takes place in Germany every March. This month I return to Dusseldorf, in northwestern Germany, for ProWein. Düsseldorf is the seventh-most-populous city in Germany and located just over an hour's train ride from Frankfurt. More than 55,000 people will attend this event, which includes over 6,000 exhibitors that are spread out in 17 exhibition halls. It takes a whole lot of work to prepare for the event and then meeting with scores of wineries over three days. It's such a unique experience and reminds me that the world of wine is vast and can be quite an adventure. And I'm looking forward to attending with my 23-year-old son, who is new to the wine business. Certainly there is no better place to get a palate education of tasting diverse wines from around the world. I especially look forward to meeting and sampling with small growers from family Domaines that make their wines with passion and a long family history of winemaking. The idea of sharing value wines that epitomize the unique terroirs with consumers reminds me of how special it is to be in the wine industry. Many wine consumers are willing to experiment and try new wines from new producers and be adventurous. And they love when their local wine specialist rec- ommends something they can then introduce to fam- ily and friends that makes them appear knowledge- able and sophisticated. And it's important to broaden your palate beyond your own preferences (a "house palate") to introduce your consumers to interesting new wines and suggest EDITOR'S NOTE Editor Jeremy Nedelka also attended ProWein and will provide a recap in the May/June issue of Beverage Dynamics.

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