The SOMM Journal

October / November 2015

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96 { THE SOMM JOURNAL } OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2015 Annette Alvarez-Peters. Annette Alvarez-Peters: A Woman of the Vine by Jaime Lewis / photos by Joann Arruda THIRTY-TWO YEARS AGO, WITH AN ENTRY-LEVEL POSITION in accounting at Price Club in San Diego, Annette Alvarez-Peters had no idea she would become one of the most powerful people in the alcohol beverage industry. "When I started at Price Club, it was just a job for money," she shares. "It's when I started seeing people get promoted that I thought 'I could do that job,' and decided I wanted to be a buyer. So I worked my way up through the company, which isn't too dissimilar from anyone else here." Today, Alvarez-Peters is the Assistant General Merchandise Manager (AGMM) Beverage Alcohol for Costco (which merged with Price Club in 1993), the largest merchant of fine wines in the U.S., with sales exceeding $1 billion each year. But Costco's alcohol beverage category was modest when Alvarez-Peters started there in 1995, mostly offering box and jug wines. "We weren't a fine wine destination like we are today," she says, "but we're not as nimble as we once were." She adds, "This is a very dynamic industry, constantly changing. What's hot today can change tomorrow."

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