The Tasting Panel magazine

January/February 2015

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january/february 2015  /  the tasting panel  /  77 Question #7: In general, does a sales rep's personal opinion of the wine matter to you? Somms were divided on this, with a majority answer- ing no, but a lot gave qualified yeses. "If he or she is smart, yes," said Jeff Kellogg. "But the rep who says everything is awesome will get no respect." Question #8: Are you more inclined to buy wine from sales reps who are better educated about wine? More than half the somms responded with a resound- ing yes. Said Gordana Josovic, "Absolutely. It shows dedication and professionalism." Kristi Snyder took a different approach. "I'm more inclined to buy wine from reps who show pride and passion and who know their products, give great service, know their pricing and always follow through." Question #9: Do you have any "rules" for sales reps? "Bring a great product—not the wines you are being told by higher-ups to upsell," was the most adamant and most frequent response, followed by, "Always make an appointment!" Kelli White added some comments about the recent trend toward presenting wines via Coravin. "The whole Coravin thing has gone too far. I love that my reps can taste me on exclusive wines via the Coravin, but oftentimes they bring wines accessed a week before and the wines are clearly oxidized." Question #10: What's the one thing you wish more sales reps knew about? Somms responded in many different ways to this question. Perhaps the most poignant response was from Kristi Snyder: "What it's like to live a day in the life of a sommelier. [Sales reps] probably wish we could live a day in their lives, too." Meet the Somms! I'd like to thank the following sommeliers for their time, help and responses to my questions. I wish I could have quoted every single one of their insightful comments. Here's a list of whom we spoke to.–KM Jeff Kellogg, Wine Director, Maialino, New York, NY Jeffrey Speiwak, Director of Operations, Goose & Gander, St. Helena, CA Kristi Snyder, Sommelier, Lone Eagle Grill, Incline Village, NV Daniel McCullough, Beverage Director/Sommelier, Oenotri, Napa, CA Jai Wilson, Wine Director, Quince Restaurant, San Francisco, CA A. J. Ojeda-Pons, Wine Director, The Lambs Club Restaurant, New York, NY Joshua Thomas, Wine Director/Sommelier, Prospect, San Francisco, CA Susanne Lerscu, Sommelier, Restaurant Latour at Crystal Springs Resort, Sussex County, NJ Kelli Audrey White, Sommelier, Press Restaurant, St. Helena, CA Gordana Josovic, Wine Director, EPIC Roasthouse, San Francisco, CA Daniel Bailey, Sommelier, Mastro's Steakhouse, Beverly Hills, CA Dennis Kelly, Head Sommelier, The French Laundry, Yountville, CA

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