As I delve further into this adventure of managing a boutique wine store, part of my process is studying wine portfolios, meeting with sales reps and trying to choose appropriate wines not only for the market where the store is located, but also for the time of year. I realize I can’t have it all, I AM working with a budget, and that at this point, I really don’t know what will sell, what won’t sell, so for all intents and purposes…it’s a bit of a crap shoot.
Ever played Craps? In short, it’s a little game of dice where one bets money on the number that will appear after the dice has been shaken and thrown down a table. I realize it’s a bit more complicated than that, but it’s all based around throwing the number 7, since it’s the number that has the most combinations on two die. But guess what? If you play in a casino, there will be a house advantage, and the probability of you losing in the long run is 100%. And in the short run, you have a greater chance of losing as opposed to winning. Sound like fun? Not for me it doesn’t, because I don’t like those odds! I don’t know about you, but I prefer to win!
I know that not everyone is going to like every wine I stock in the store, and in all liklihood, I will not have what certain people want. Some stock will move, but some will certainly sit dormant on the shelf for a time. Yup, that’s a crap shoot!
I am building a spreadsheet of the wines I want to order for the store. Currently, I’ve looked at around 20 portfolios thinking that surely, I must have looked at most of them by now. (Sigh) I have not even scratched the surface my friends! The number of distributors in Alberta is slightly ridiculous, and I have to make sure I’m not pulling too much from ONE distributor. (You know, the whole “10 %” of your business) Anyway, I digress…
The GREAT thing about this job, is that I get to TASTE a lot of wine, and I mean a lot. Too bad for me right? 😀 The way I see it, the more you taste, the more the palate is developed and the more discerning I can be. Yes, I will have to carry wines that I don’t like, but it will be because the general public likes them, and it’s not all about me!!!
Other than the US and Australia, I’m in charge of every other wine region. However, that does not mean that I don’t taste wines from the US or Australia and recommend such to the owner and vice versa. Such is the case with these wines. A small-ish portfolio with all wines coming from family owned wineries. Love that about this portfolio, and so far I have many chosen to sit on my shelves. And Ballard Lane is one of them!
“The Ballard Lane portfolio of wines possesses quite a bit of personality. This might very well be a reflection of the Central Coast family who farms the fruit for this program. They have been on the Central Coast for generations, with vineyards in several counties and appellations. Their dedication to the soils of the Central Coast and the people who farm them, are reflected in each bottle of Ballard Lane wine.”
From the Central Coast of California, specifically Paso Robles, the Merlot screamed of cherries and vanilla, a lively dance for my palate! I didn’t enjoy the Pinot Noir as much, but it was light (as a Pinot should be) and not overly alcohol-y like I find most Central Coast Pinots. Tons of strawberries, and even a little bit of “old world” dustiness thrown in there!
Now, just wait until the store actually has a door on it, we can actually order product in, stock it on the shelves, and then OPEN the doors! I’ll keep you all posted….Cheers!