Inside “the eye of the storm” in the wine industry Part 2

11th December to New Year 2018

Now the fun starts.  I normally put life on hold from the time I leave the house till the time I start work (A period of about 2 1/2 hours) My destination is the coffee shop, where the sanctuary is, where I don’t get disturbed and where calm has returned. It is there that most of my studying is done, my thoughts are born and normally where blogs are completed. So imagine my horror when someone from work found out where I was on a morning…. I had to change coffee house and find a secret corner in London (albeit a Pret A Manger and the space behind the coffee machine.) Not even my erstwhile colleague could find me there!

So the first two weeks of December are crucial for anyone in the wine industry as it is obviously our busiest time of the year. My place is currently flat out and no time for lunch (well at 6pm there is) and sales are 20% above target.


You wouldn’t believe it but the following paragraph is the best bit about the job ! If your experienced and knowledgeable you are a valuable commodity to your peers and clients : giving answers to questions about regions, wines, gin, answering phones and sorting upwards of 100 dispatches to clients daily   This is rewarding and never tires with me. My problem is because this is fast paced most of the year finding a similar role will be difficult. For my reward for working hard over Christmas I will be treating myself to a yearly bottle of something nice probably a Vintage Billecart Salmon Champagne or a cheeky European white !  I will enjoy every minute !
In the current retail market my place is bucking the trend. Sometimes you wonder your sanity, your frustrations and why you are actually doing the job you are – but the underlying factor,for me, is that I love doing what I do.  Meeting the people I see day to day.


So for the next 2 weeks I will undoubtedly see unexpected problems. Grumpy couriers, irate cabbies and lots of people going places far too quickly and without a thought for those around them. This is the time to forget the “ stress bunnies”.  It is this time that I need to concentrate. With a team of 8 if there are ever-small inaccurate details in the day to day running of a store they can quickly unfold into a catastrophe if not watched. It is not a time to sit on my laurels.

If you are dedicated professional and pay careful attention to detail you will get more out of a job.  That much I’ve learnt.  You get to enrich your experience within a job.  Something which I didn’t think I would be typing now.

In order for something to be a success it needs good team work, trust and loyalty   Sometimes when you get it just right you can take on the world with the chemistry.  I was lucky 2 years ago as I had the right team. Breaking all records and turning a retail outlet over 3-year period way above company expectations. It was hard work and a lot of dedication but was worth it personally.

Ironically at the point of success the company didn’t recognise the work we had done and as you can guess most of the team have now gone.
Every cloud has a silver lining, though and my blogging began. It’s a matter of following a variety of paths until you come to a point where you realise this is where you are having experienced various choices!


Moreover the weeks after such a crazy period is a period of reflection a period of deciding what to do for the future. Which is why the wine industry sees a big exodus from company to company   For me I recharge re-energise and decide that all I’m doing for myself is the right thing and spread the word that the wine industry need to be less stuffy and a little smaller.

So the rule is simple  thing :

do the best of your ability and do it with energy passion and enthusiasm. If you are true to yourself and your integrity is left intact people will love you for it and you will be rewarded in the end…..

For me…. for every one grumpy client I make happy I know that I have done my little bit.  One step at a time!


Best GW


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