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10 Tips to a Lasting Wine Industry Career

10 Tips to a Lasting Wine Industry Career

Rebecca Chapa | Chef's Blade

5. Be RESPECTFUL. Do not assume the business owes you anything. We are very fortunate to have opportunities to taste, experience, dine, and travel. Take these for granted and you will have lost an incredible lesson.

4. Be KIND. Don’t forget that you are not in the business alone. There are plenty of support staff that help you do what you do. A busser or dishwasher in a restaurant, a delivery person, vineyard workers, these people all incorporate their work and effort into making you look good and making you a success. The way you treat them ultimately reflects on your reputation. I am amazed at how I have seen people treated. You would be surprised to find that it does not go unnoticed and immediately reflects on your character.

3. Be PROFESSIONAL. It seems so simple, but the wine business is still a business. You are expected to conduct yourself in a manner that is comparable to other businesses. For example, that does not mean that you do not return phone calls, emails, etc. (I am definitely email/voice mail “challenged” but I never DELETE an email or voicemail without EVENTUALLY following up). It also seems like second nature, but even at times when the business becomes social you should still be a consummate professional, ie you should not be getting drunk at tastings, driving under the influence, etc. The benefits of this business are great but the pressures that alcohol consumption can place on you are also great, so be aware that your behavior always reflects upon your reputation whether at a tasting, event, or party. It’s a balancing game between being a fun addition to a party while still maintaining respectability. (There are of course times I have slipped off that balance beam, I’m no Mary Lou you know.)

2. Be GENEROUS. With your time, your passion. And hopefully your wine.

1. Be HUMBLE. Humility is an essential tenet of the industry, there is always more to learn, another vintage, another region, another paradigm shift. Don’t ever be cocky and don’t forget where you started, try to inspire those just starting on the same path.