Friday, November 18, 2011

Be Nice

If you saw my Facebook rant last night, you know that I was pretty upset with some of my fellow food/wine industry cohorts. Yesterday, we held a launch party for a new wine-on-tap project that my company is carrying (more about that on another day). We held the party at a local wine bar that serves food as well. The way that it worked was that for $20 people got 4 tastes of wine, each paired with a small dish. Well, the party was really successful. Probably 120 people took advantage of the tasting, which is awesome. However, as the night got later the establishment understandably started running out of items (they were surprised by the number of people that showed for the event). At about this time, an individual that is involved with the local industry said to their server "You didn't save any (item X) for when I got here?"

Are you kidding me? This person really thought that the restaurant should say to their staff "Hey, such-and-such might be coming in, make sure you don't serve the 120 other people something so that they can get some when they are here."

This is the ultimate example of expecting to be treated like a rock star, and it drives me nuts. Just because you have a job in the industry, you should NOT expect to be treated in a special manner. Often you will be. It's nice, it's great, it's a perk of having friends in the industry, but you should never think that a restaurant should put service to someone else at risk, in order to feed your own self-worth.

Later in the night, a person with a job in the industry was given something of substantial value for free. They then left without tipping their server on the item. This is just plain asinine. Once again, in this industry, a lot of chefs, managers, bartenders, etc are extremely generous. However, if you get something for free, be it a dish, drink, bottle of wine, etc, you really need to tip your server on it. They are deprived of the opportunity to sell you something in that case, which they would have likely gotten tipped on if they had sold it to you.

That's the calmest way that I can explain myself. I want to rant, rave, cuss, spit, and call people out publically on their arrogant actions, but I won't. I have done wrong things in the past that doesn't put me in any position to judge. At the end of the day, please just get over yourself, and be nice.


Thursday, November 10, 2011

The World Series Curse

I have now had the opportunity to live in 2 different major baseball towns when their respective teams won the world series. My time in Boston and in St Louis has shown me one thing- World Series games are not good for the restaurant industry, and even moreso for wine sales in those towns.

You might think it's the opposite- that people pop good wine and champagne during the celebrations that follow wins. The truth is that people drink beer during baseball. They also go to sportsbars. I guarantee you, during any of the NLCS or the World Series games, you could walk into otherwise full restaurants and get a seat immediately. Friends of mine in the industry said that retail sales of wine were down roughly 15%, and that overall sales of restaurants (not sports bars) were off up to 25%.


In good news, if you have been following our drive to donate money to Mission: St Louis by selling Ludovicus, please add Blood and Sand, Home Wine Kitchen, and the Straub's stores in Webster, CWE, and West County.

Thanks all for your generosity!


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Back in the Game

What? It's only been since February since I last posted.

Since my last post, Nicole made the roller derby league, and subsequently a team. We all had birthdays. Peggy unfortunately had to leave the company, but we did hire a driver (Stephen), and and office manager/ sales person (Kelly). We have also grown the company after a rough summer to something that is really wonderful. We are riding our best two months in a row, and continue to be successful.

That being said, I'm going to try to blog more, and keep the few people that read this thing in the loop as to what is going on.

...Which brings us to the charity that we are working with in November and December. Basically, for every bottle of Ludovicus that we sell, we will be donating $1 to Mission: St Louis. This is a great organization that is committed to transforming the city of St Louis through education, empowerment, and education. Please check out their website at

Now, what is Ludovicus, and where can you get it? The wine is a grenache-based blend from the area of Terra Alta, Spain. Those of you familiar with the wines from Priorat will probably like it. It's a similar style, and much, much cheaper.

The wine will cost you around $12 at a retail store, and about $25 per bottle at a restaurant, so drink up!

Right now, the St Louis locations that are committed to working with it are:

Friar Tuck Beverage
33 Wine Bar
Lukas Liquors
St Louis Wine Market
Kaya's Imports
The Wine and Cheese Places
Wine Merchant
Robust Wine Bar
Atomic Cowboy
Demun Oyster Bar
Vino Gallery
Bottle Cellars
Five Restaurant

I will be updating this list as more places come on line with Ludovicus.

So, please go buy a bottle- it really will help your fair city!

Cheers, it's good to be back.