Like most small business men I wear many hats and for that reason I tend to work in phases. I have a business man phase, where I focus on business plans, ideas and the nuts and bolts of running my businesses. Then I have the writer phase, where I concentrate on producing newsletters, blogs, WOM and Reserve write-ups and web materials. Finally, I have the tasting phase, where I actually go through the process of finding the wines to write about. Although I do mix the phases a little each day I try to make each phase a block of time, usually a week. This past week was my tasting phase.
So you may be saying to yourself, “that sounds like a tough job, where do I sign up?” Believe me it is much harder than it looks. The whole premise of Tim’s is that I rarely use critical press to buy or sell wines. So this means that when I taste I am putting my money, and that of my franchisees, where my mouth is. Critics get to assign points based on a wine they taste at that moment. If a critic misses on a rating the impact is minimal because he is not really accountable to anyone. I have to assess a wine, decide on whether I think it represents a good value, then sell the wine for several days, weeks or even months. If I miss, we get to look at the inventory for a good, long time. Call it what you want but to me that kind of pressure is work.
So this week I tasted wine during 11 different appointment with suppliers, a total of 106 wines. I did have a focus; looking for inexpensive (under $20) Bordeaux, Chardonnay, Rosé and Rhone wines. Along the way I also tasted a number other products but my focus was above. In the end I will probably select a dozen or so new items, some for the June newsletter, others for weekly email offerings. Stay tuned, as soon as I sober up I start the writing phase!