For all of us that work in the wine business, the autumn season is a time for back to back trade shows.
Distributors usually host these shows, the 'suppliers' (these are the wine importers or the domestic wineries) send their top sales managers or even the winemaker to pour the wine and the retail and restaurant buyers are the belles of the ball.
All of this reminded me of a recent post by 1WineDude. He was castigating the folks who go to winery tasting rooms to get drunk.
Well, I have some shocking news of my own. There are some 'wine professionals' who get drunk at trade shows!
Too many wine samples consumed with trays of cheese and crackers are the deadly combination that gives us The Unidentified Flying Objects.
These are the small projectiles coming from the mouths of the retail clerk or restaurant waiter with flushed cheeks. The winery sales staff tries to dodge these wet tidbits hurtling through the air towards them whilst smiling and explaining how and when they hand prune their vines.
The above is much rarer at trade shows than at consumer shows, where patrons usually do not spit after tasting. We usually say it takes about 30 minutes after a consumer show begins, then the UFOs appear.
And granted even at trade shows, it is usually the floor staff or casual workers from restaurants and retail shops, not the head wine buyer or sommelier, who overindulges.
Don't misunderstand, the distributors are all to aware of the above phenomenon and provide more than adequate water and food and usually shuttles or taxis home for the inebriated.
I do wonder sometimes if the head buyers at restaurants and retail stores impress upon their staff that these are work events , not nights out on the town with friends.
Ok folks, heres the deal. Wine shows, either for the trade or consumer, are for TASTING not for drinking. If you find a wine you like, go buy it and drink it with friends for dinner or weekend brunch or wherever.
Save your UFOs for those that love you.