I stole that name from a New York Rangers Hockey Blog, it was the nickname of JT Miller, a young player that the coach always benched for little mistakes. All the while letting other players make massive mistakes and continue playing plenty of minutes.

After being in the wine business for many years, I have discovered that I am indeed the Hated One when it comes to wine sales people. Apparently when I work hard to find great wines that fit one of my clients needs, tastes very good for the category and makes the client money, I am an asshole. Due to being a consultant, I take my responsibilities seriously in finding the right wine with the right profitability and the right competitive pricing. This means that that if the wine fits my clients needs and current budget, I will buy it. If the wine fits a sales organizations goals and needs and not mine… sorry. I work for the restaurant or retail store that pays me. Though some days the wine industry feels like what it might have been like just before and after Prohibition ended, it is not the proper way and is not good for the consumer. But there are laws in the wine industry prohibiting graft and payola. In New York, the State Liquor Authority oversees the industry an gives fines, suspends licenses ect. for violations. But some of the biggest Wine & Spirit Companies have teams of attorney’s with contacts or history with the legislators sooo….

So my view on graft and payola is that it hurts the consumer. If a company is giving cash for placements on shelves or bar or wine lists, this money is not reflected in the price of the product for the consumer. The consumer is getting an inferior product for the price of something that should be better due to the costs. As a former restaurant owner, I worry about the consumer… why? Because if they are not satisfied they go somewhere else and the restaurant or store looses business. Wine drinkers like restaurants and stores that give them value and knowledgeable guidance.

Wine has become very competitive and some companies use payola and graft to get an edge.

So due to my concern for my customers (clients) and their customers (diners & retail consumers), I am hated by many sales people. But some sales professionals understand, they taste me on things that I want. If some of those wines meet my needs and standards… done. If a sales professional need a sale of something to satisfy a supplier, company executive or manager, ask me. If I can help, I will.

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