The Tasting Panel magazine

May 2015

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54  /  the tasting panel  /  may 2015 TECHNOLOGY A nyone who has ever put together a bar pro- gram or wine list is familiar with the inspired, artistic and, sometimes, frustrating nature of the process. We've all leafed through mountains of paper-and-ink sales catalogs trying to find the right product, or remember where we last saw it. While no one wants to reinvent the wheel, there are many, many, many ways to approach developing a thoughtful and informative program that is easy for staff to use as a sales tool, and to complement the guests' dining or bar experience. Newly launched by Southern Wine & Spirits of California, the innovative digital marketing program, The Voyager, seeks to take the guesswork and paper out of the process of buying wines and spirits. "While we at Southern Wine & Spirits of California have wanted to improve our catalog for a long time, the technology that would allow us to do so wasn't available until recently. We wanted to be able to present our more than 15,000-item inventory in a way that customers could easily browse through the different categories at their own pace or quickly search for exactly what they need," explains Carl Corsi, Technology Training Manager for Southern Wine & Spirits, California. "The results are a website we call The Voyager that's really a tool that helps our customers navigate through a very large list of products that we represent." "The way we did this was to set up our lists the same way that most buyers present their wine and spirits lists. Wines are presented by country or state, then categorized by type—sparkling, white, red, des- sert, etc.—then by region and appellation if neces- sary. Spirits are presented by category then, as in the case of American whiskey, by state. That makes it easy for our customers to use The Voyager to fill in the categories they have on their unique lists." Corsi, whose extensive experience in restaurants as a sommelier and bar manager, as well as 15 years of sales, education and media management with SWS, makes him the ideal curator of this project, helms development of The Voyager. "The Voyager has many other features to help our customers dig deep into the extensive SWS inventory, including a 'My List' function that allows buyers to save items of interest to a saved list, which can then be emailed to their salesperson as a request for sampling or more information." As technology develops, Southern Wine & Spirits of California will continue to expand the features of this sales tool, making it as easy as possible for their customers to navigate through The Voyager. California wine and spirits buyers can visit the site at to start exploring! SOUTHERN WINE & SPIRITS OF CALIFORNIA USES DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY TO HONE A NEW TOOL Introducing The Voyager by Karen Moneymaker

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