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How to Sell Wine

How to Sell Wine

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Not everyone who drinks wine has any idea what the fuck they’re drinking. And not everyone who drinks wine gives two fucks as long as it doesn’t make them vomit, go blind or break a fifty bill. I’ve worked with wine for a few years now and I will honestly say that compared to some people I have absolutely no idea what the fuck I’m talking about, and that is FINE. However there are some things I’ve come to learn while working in this industry that really piss me off.

Really, you won’t offend anyone if you walk into a wine store and go:

“Look, I don’t know shit about wine I just want a decent bottle of red for under 20 bucks.”

These people are actually our favourite people. Just don’t do any of the following things or you will:

a) piss me off or

b) end up drinking shit wine.


There are so many things wrong with the people who do this. Firstly, if you really have to question if I am eighteen or younger do you seriously trust me to choose your wine? I kinda doubt it. If you do, you’re stupid. Also, do you really think a wine store would hire someone who could not legally try, therefore not honestly recommend any of their products? I realize it’s legal to serve alcohol at 18 but literally my only job is to tell you what wine to buy and then take your money. The company I work for gives me six free bottles a month just so I can try them and know what I’m talking about. When I started working for this company I took a two day training course and literally tried every wine we sell. I realize there is really no way for anyone to know these things, but come the fuck on guys.

I’m almost 23 and I’m being mistaken for 18 which is my own fault for looking so damn youthful and radiant, but you all should just assume that the girl selling you alcohol is old enough to drink it. If I was 18 and you asked me a wine related question, I would probably just go “I don’t know, I’m 18 I don’t even know why the fuck these people hired me, I’ve never had a glass of wine.” because I would be relieved to have an excuse for looking so DUMB, and you would rest assured knowing that you didn’t piss me off and cause me to suggest the worst, most disgusting bottle of wine we sell, because believe you me, I do this. Every single time someone is dumb enough to ask me this question, they probably go home and think “Wow that girl must have actually been underage, this wine is awful- she didn’t know what’s up.” When really it’s your own fault.

Carole Raddato via Flickr


No wine tastes like beer. There you go. There are literally hundreds of thousands of wines in the world that I have never tried yet I can still pretty confidently say none of them taste like beer. You know why? Because a product that tastes exactly like beer already exists in abundance. It’s called fucking beer. I honestly just feel like everything I have learned about wine is completely useless when I get asked this question because I think I probably knew when I was like eight or nine that wine tastes like wine and beer tastes like beer. And the thing is, I kind of get what people are going for when they ask this question. They just word it totally wrong. Next time you wanna say this, say this instead:

“I usually drink beer but for whatever reason I do not have access to any beer or the ability to get to anywhere that sells beer so I am forced to drink wine which I do not usually do or like to do. Could you recommend a wine for someone who is typically a beer drinker, enjoys the taste of beer and is clueless and frightened in a wine store, so I can get the fuck out of here and get too drunk to give any kind of shit what beverage inebriated me to the point of cross-dressing?”

I promise you you’ll get a much better response, and I will actually recommend you a bottle of wine.


Just so you know we can tell when you do this and you just make yourself look like a pretentious douche bag. I work in a wine store and if I don’t know something about a bottle of wine I will just fucking tell you because I don’t care that I don’t know. More people should try to adopt this attitude. I remember once, we discontinued a bottle of wine that I guess a certain customer had been into buying all the time and when she came in and saw it was gone she tripped the fuck out because she was allegedly allergic to sulphites and according to her, the discontinued wine didn’t have sulphites in it– except that it did.

We don’t sell any wines that have no sulphites, and if anyone does, believe me they will let you know it because it’s a pretty big deal. According to this woman she could literally tell the exact sulphite content of any wine by taking a sip. Except the discontinued bottle of wine she was bemoaning the absence of was actually full of sulphites. If there is one thing I hate (and trust me there are many) it’s a fucking hypochondriac, telling me you’re deathly allergic to sulphites and bitching about a discontinued wine that was full of sulphites.

dvdbramhall via Flickr


Do you go into a Burger King and ask where the nearest McDonald’s is?  I really fucking hope not. There is really no reason I should know anything about the liquor store. I don’t work there.

Do you not find it a little bit disrespectful that you are my first customer in hours, that I got up off my ass to smile at you and try to look cute and helpful and you walk up to me and say

“Hi, I don’t want to buy anything here, I would actually like to purchase wine from your largest direct competitor and I of course assumed that you could assist me in figuring out how to do this.”

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I don’t know if people just assume that everyone who sells alcohol works for the same company but when I actually have people getting frustrated with me because I can’t tell them the hours of operation at a place I don’t fucking work, it really pisses me off.

Don’t ask me shit about the liquor store. Go to the liquor store and ask them, and if you can’t find it, go anywhere that doesn’t sell alcohol and ask them how to get there.

Miki Jourdan via Flickr


You are not special. Sorry. But what the fuck makes people think that even though it is past closing time, even though a lot of the time it is ILLEGAL for me to sell you wine after we close, I would still love to unlock the door, help you find a bottle, recount my cash, redo everything I had started doing and stay here later than I have to just so YOU can have a good night.

You’re not special. Maybe if I was a really nice person someone would be special every now and then but I’m not.

You fucked up, you were late and now you have nothing to drink. I don’t care if it’s your birthday, I don’t care that you’re just visiting the city and yes I know it’s Friday night. Do you realize that it is Friday night and I am working, and talking to you is keeping me here longer? And serving you would keep me here even longer? That alone should make you realize it’s not gonna happen.

So don’t do these things, and if you like wine I’ll make you love it and if you hate wine I’ll make you like it because really the bottom line is wine is the best and everyone should be drinking it instead of selling it. Selling it can make you want to die, or make you want to kill someone, and even though at times drinking it can too, I really believe there’s no reason anyone should hate wine and I bet I could find you a bottle you’d enjoy if you didn’t piss me off first.

See? I’m a good salesperson.


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