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A wine drawing philosopher with a heart of gold. aka. #firekitten

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  1. How Should You Live? - GROWGENIC : GROWGENIC

    [...] one could perhaps live? After Aristotle several others attended to the question of how to live. How shall we live? What shall we live for? Let's consult the old greeks concerning it… Individual…mindsets with a sort of cross-examination which became understood as the dialectic. This involved [...]

  2. Jameson Fink
    Jameson Fink at | | Reply

    A thoughtful profile. As a colleague in the world of wine retail, I appreciated working at a large, neighborhood grocery store that sold a lot of wines that “kept the lights on” but gave me the kind of budget and buying power to do stuff like buy a 50 cases of a 1L Gruner Veltliner or a huge pile of a South African sparkling rosé. Once you get a chance to talk with people it’s pretty amazing how open they can be to discovering something new.

    1. Melissa Sutherland Amado
      Melissa Sutherland Amado at | | Reply

      Hi there, Jameson! Thought I’d chime in here. Personally, I found the volume mindset challenging when I first began at 67. Coming from the “luxury” and “boutique” side of wine retail, I had to figure out (with lots of help from others) how to accomplish my goals. What I learned very quickly, which is not new to pros like you, or somms who run exemplary BTG programs, was how to become a smarter buyer. Some of that is business (leveraging drivers), but there’s lots of insight to be found in customer trends and buying patterns, data I’m privy to given my marketing position. Above all, I believe in the “shop” experience (which, ideally, is rooted in education), and the one-on-one dialogue.

  3. Meg Houston Maker
    Meg Houston Maker at | | Reply

    I’m pleased to see Melissa profiled here, and appreciate that you’ve told us about both her trajectory and the philosophy that undergirds it. Although I know Melissa only a little, her approach to wine marketing seems at once passionate and sensible, and she has that uncommon combination of both wine chops and marketing chops.

    She also has a percipient mind and a clear voice, and as her colleague in wine marketing, I’ve learned a lot from her. Melissa’s voice deserves to be heard, and would enrich your thoughtful narrative. Perhaps she can be enticed to weigh in here in the comments.

    1. Melissa Sutherland Amado
      Melissa Sutherland Amado at | | Reply

      Hi there, Meg. Firstly, I appreciate your thoughtful note on this blog article. Elaine and I had such a lengthy conversation followed by multiple emails follow-ups, and I feel grateful that she wanted to learn more about me, and this retail life.

      I’d love to extend the conversation on any of the topics we covered. I can tell you we spent much time on the wine as food theme, as similarly went the wine buying discussion. And funny enough, while I get called out as the “social media person” or the “wine PR” person (the latter of which, technically, I am not), the conversation, thankfully, did not focus on SM tools or the silliness of a specific channel strategy.

      What has developed since this piece was published are questions of what I meant by accessibility. One wine industry colleague commented on my approach, comparing it with his philosophy, a belief where he views wine as a grocery. And he further reinforces that view, expressing, in earnest, that there’s nothing wrong with thinking about wine as the people’s beverage, as its roots can be very blue collar. (That last bit are literally his words.) I find this immensely interesting, the sort of populist movement idea applied to wine. Some would – and have said – that the fears of market share (real or imagined) by natural wine naysayers derives from this idea of natural wine as the people’s wine. As an aside, I appreciate both sides, and the inspired arguments, but kindly note my aim here is not to stir up those emotions.

      Only week’s ago I began reading the illuminating and dense Creating Wine: The Emergence of a World Industry 1840-1914 by James Simpson. Because you see Meg, I think what I’m truly interested in learning can be found in the intersection of economics and culture, and I’m particularly interested in how a culturally history of wine is created, and transforms over time.

  4. Terroirist: A Daily Wine Blog » Daily Wine News: Disgorgement!

    [...] In Hawk Wakawaka Wine Reviews, a wonderful profile of Melissa Sutherland of 67 Wine & Spirits in New York. [...]

  5. Tom Powers
    Tom Powers at | | Reply

    After 20 years in the food and wine industry, I had the privilege of working with Melissa. She guided IWM through a transitional period where it needed strength and grace, elegance and bravado. She was able to filter Sergio’s brilliance into something tangible. I have rarely felt it was a privilege to work with my colleagues, but my time with Melissa left me truly inspired. I only wish that tenure had lasted longer.

  6. The Power of Images for Winery Marketing: A Response to Steve Heimoff | Hawk Wakawaka Wine Reviews

    [...] for the visual expands to include moveable icons, or even videos. Behind each of these forms is the presentation of a kind of brand through which a company, person, or product builds their longer …. In each case, the visual elements act to give consumers at least two things, which I’ll name [...]

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