Thursday, May 15, 2008

That Privelidged Feeling

It's nice to feel special. We all love to think that we are getting special treatments in any way and to just be noticed sometimes more than others. I have a saying that I coined a long time ago, RIFS, Retail Is For Suckers, referring to always trying to either 'get a better deal' and/or never settling to being just one of the crowd...not paying full "retail" for things or services.

It's even nicer to be recognized in the land of one of my greatest passions...wine. Now that I am getting entrenched in the Napa Valley and beginning to "learn the ropes", so to speak, I am fully realizing the benefits of being one of the recognized 'Industry People'. Now that I have an actual title, Wine Bar Manager, and the card to accompany, it is a realized privilege to get these special treatments.

There seems to be a code of sorts that everyone in the wine business and/or the hospitality industry (as it is often referred to here) takes good care of their own. I enjoy both the giving and receiving ends of this as it is an immediate bond between people that gives you quick conversation and common ground right off the bat...a dependable ice-breaker. There is a connectedness here that follows that has a nice appeal.

I was recently at a wine tasting room talking 'shop' with an acquaintance working there and some customers came in for the tasting drill. As they listened in to our conversation, they were inquiring about what types of jobs are best here in the valley and how do you get in the business. After sharing with them some of the intricacies of our business, I had to admit that I currently have a great job. I get to hang out around wine all day in a nice social environment, talk to people about wines, help people navigate around the valley, taste wine with customers, do constant food & wine pairings, evaluate/taste new wines every day, and do regular research about my industry to learn more. Not too bad to get paid well doing this...I do feel privileged and blessed.

In addition, some of the benefits/perks to us industry people are as follows:

Free tastings/tours anywhere in the valley for me and a guest along with special tastings of the 'good stuff' the general public never sees.

Up to 40% purchase discount on all wines.

Lots of free bottle samples to take home.

Waiving of corkage fees when bringing my own wine in to restaurants.

Usually a free appetizer or two and/or preferred seating when dining out.

Discounts on hotel stays for me and my family.

Lots of private parties and events with champagne and wine flowing freely.

Insights in to all the best the valley has to offer.

But most of all, I appreciate the community and passion we have with wine and the willingness to help each other in enjoying it to the fullest. It seems we all have something to bring to the table for the benefit of the greater good for all the visitors that come to Napa. That is what not only makes us feel privileged, but also making others feel that way as well.

Until the next sip...swirl ya' later!

James
Chief Wino

1 comment:

Dee Dee's Pages said...

I'm jealous! I can't wait to be considered one of the "insiders", and by association at that! Yippee!!!
Also glad to know you are enjoying it; isn't that what its all about!?!