It is late Sunday evening and I feel like I need a holiday. It was a hectic week with a lot of wine-action and the week of our big tasting. You know this happy feeling when you have completed a marathon, well that’s how I feel right now, exhausted and happy (even though I have never run a marathon so I wouldn’t perhaps know). Thank God, I can go to the office tomorrow to rest (just joking). We have a nice trip coming up, and even though our trips are seldom only holidays, this one will be relaxing. On Friday, me and M head of to Shanghai for five days, travelling comfortably in business class. No, we could not afford to buy such expensive tickets, but we used well earned airline points to score the comfy seats both on the way there and back. I am even looking forward to the flight this time and will be reporting what kind of wines they serve when to the left of the airplane entrance.
Back to the big tasting. As we took in 17 new wines from Spain and Portugal to our selection we wanted to give people the chance to come and sample them. Many of our customers know us and our taste, but it requires a special kind of trust (and too much money) to buy a box blind even though you have like minded wine people making the recommendation. We were also very curious about the reception of our new wines. We sell only products that we like ourselves (as then we can drink the rest of our stock if no one buys it), but you never know exactly what is to other peoples liking. So we invited around 30-50 of our friends and customers to a free open house event around the area where we live in.
We rented a small space with a kitchen and a bathroom in a residential building close by and turned it into a tasting room. Nothing fancy but we had a counter and tables where people could sit and make notes. We had procured some small spit buckets, a champagne cooler fitting 4-5 bottles and stoppers (temporary corks); printed out some price lists and information sheets and M had spent the week making ice. We had also bought some more tasting glasses from Ikea (as starting entrepreneurs we cannot afford Riedels), so we were all geared up for the event. All the setting up took so much time though that we had to compromise a little bit on the look of things and did not have that much time to really think of structure. So there are a few things we will most probably do differently the next time, like having some note-sheets so people remember which wines they have tasted and what is next on the line. Our good memories served us well, but the bigger these events get, the more difficult it is to stay on track.
The event was a huge success. We had over 30 visitors during the day and already sold out of some of the wines. I am not sure if this tells more about the success of the event or our poor skills for estimating what will actually sell, as the rose wine from Quinta do Saes was out of stock half way through the day. All in all our selection was well received and we actually sold quite a lot already at the event. We still have a few weeks to go before the wines are shipped, so this might be our most successful month yet (that’s probably good as our stock levels increased a bit with all the new suppliers).
This week I have also tried out a new camera. Actually an old camera, our Nikon D40, but I seldom use it due to its size. The pictures you see in this post are the trial pictures I have been taking during our evening walks. It is a green and light time of the year, so great for taking photos. I am an amateur with a big A and do not see myself putting much more effort into Photoshop, but I do like the depth that a real camera gives t the pictures. Let’s see what comes out of this. I also acquired a tripod and some reflectors and with those I am hoping to improve the pictures I take of wine. Personally I like nice photos in a blog, but M says it disturbs the readability. I don’t know, what do you think?
That was it for this weeks Sunday chat. New week will be hard hard work and then on Friday a well earned full night sleep on the plain to Shanghai. We also have a fridge full of opened bottles from the tasting, so I am 99.9% sure there will also be wine.