Unique Wine Selections

February 2, 2016
Toni Jakovec

“The United States became the world’s biggest wine market last year, beating France into second place for the first time as consumption slides in the country widely seen as the drink’s natural home and Americans develop a greater taste for it,” according to the Huffington Post (5/13/14).

This exciting trend positions vomFASS franchises well ahead of their competitors to offer customers a one-stop shopping experience.  To better understand vomFASS’ place in the complex world of wine buying and selling, we spoke to David Eisner-Kleyle, Director of Operations for vomFASS USA.

USA edges out France in wine consumption vomFASS franchises have unique wine selections

USA edges out France in wine consumption
vomFASS franchises have unique wine selections

Toni Jakovec:  I know you are instrumental during the training process of new vomFASS franchisees.  How do you teach new owners how to select and then sell their wines?

David Eisner-Kleyle:  During our product training we do go through a small wine tasting and selling presentation.  We talk to our franchisees about how to taste and talk about wine. Of course, wines are not our primary product here at vomFASS, but wine is still an important element to complete our spirit and liqueur product line.  Wine is more of an “add on” product at vomFASS, following the discussion with the customer of what foods they are making with our products and then exposing them to the perfect wine pairing to complete the menu.

TJ:  How does the franchisee learn what wines and quantities to keep in stock?

DEK:  This varies greatly location by location.  A very large part of the wine presence in a store actually happens long before the store is open.  One of the most important steps before a franchisee opens their new shop is to discover the wine distributors in their area.  Franchisees need to find one or more local wine distributors and establish a working relationship.  VomFASS USA can help a franchisee by suggesting what wines they need to offer, but it is only through contacting a local distributor that a franchisee finds out what is available and most likely to sell in their immediate area.  Franchisees are autonomous in their wine departments.  They may prefer to introduce their customers to European wines, while other franchisees may prefer to focus more on local wines.  This, of course, depends on the stores location.  The important aspect of wine selection is location dependent.  If there is a saturation of European wines around them, then we recommend that the shop offer alternatives, either domestic wines or more widely international selections, South American, Australian, etc.  Another option to offer a wider mix of New World and Old World wines.

Once a franchisee has established a relationship with a good distributor and has decided on the wines they intend to focus on at their store, it is very important that they experience the wines through tasting.  One of the most important aspects of selling wine, is when speaking to the customer, the franchisee speaks from experience and personal taste.  It is imperative that the owner not let the distributor dictate what wines are offered, but rather, that with the distributor’s guidance, the wines are actually chosen because the owner likes them.  This gives the owners great confidence knowing that the wines suggested to a customer are endorsed by the owner’s personal experience.

TJ:  Do you recommend a price point that owners should consider when choosing wines?

DEK:  We do.  We typically tell owners to consider wines in the $15 to $25 retail range.  Of course, again, this is dependent upon location.  We have owners that stock wines in the $25 to $50 range where the location supports that price point.

TJ:  As a former manager of the Shorewood store in Madison, did you learn anything about wine selling that you’d like to share?

DEK:   The importance of tasting the wine.  I found it valuable to have the entire staff taste and discuss wines presented by the distributors.  This gives the staff great confidence when selling wine and educates them as to what wines to recommend.

David Eisner-Kleyle, vomFASS Director of Operations

David Eisner-Kleyle,
vomFASS Director of Operations

TJ:  How did you learn about wines?

DEK:  I came from a culinary background.  I worked everything from fast food to fine dining, back of the house to front of the house management and always loved it.  I began to pick things up.  Then somewhere between my mid to late twenties I became interested in wine.  I set about to educate myself through books and watching videos doing whatever I could to learn more about wine.  Of course, I’ve learned considerably more working for vomFASS.  I’ve met more producers and been lucky enough to visit some of the European states that are famous for their wine production and meet some of our vomFASS partners.

TJ:  What are some of your favorite wines?

DEK:  I’m a big fan of lighter bodied red wines such as Pinot Noir, Gamay, and Montepuliano.  I don’t really like big, red, fruity wines.  I prefer wines that have more nuance that is a little easier to drink and that you can drink anytime.

TJ:  What have you learned while training franchisees in wine selection?

DEK: The biggest thing I’ve learned is that there is a wide variety of wine knowledge people bring to a franchise.  A lot of people are already well versed in wines and they are eager to learn more about their passion and how to present it in their stores.  In contrast, some people have never picked up a bottle of wine and they need more intense instruction.

TJ:  What percentage do wine sales represent at a typical vomFASS shop?

DEK:  Typically, wine sales make up in the 10% to 15% range of total sales.

TJ:  Although wine sales are not the largest slice of the profit pie, they are a valuable asset to any stores inventory.  Thanks so much Dave for offering your insights into vomFASS wine training and sales.

Try this colorful, sweet and zesty sangria for your next party. Use our recommended fruit or any combination of citrus that appeals to you and looks good at your market.

White Sangria
Toni Jakovec February 3, 2016
white sangria recipeIngredients:

Directions:

  1. In a large pitcher, combine wine, brandy and orange liqueur.
  2. Pour in the sugar and stir to dissolve completely.
  3. Add all the citrus at once.
  4. Allow mixture to mellow in the refrigerator for 1 hour before serving.
  5. Garnish with mint if using.

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Disclaimer: This information is not intended as an offer to sell, or the solicitation of an offer to buy, a franchise. It is for information purposes only. Currently, the following states in the United States regulate the offer and sale of franchises: California, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin. If you are a resident of one of these states, we will not offer you a franchise unless and until we have complied with applicable pre-sale registration and disclosure requirements in your jurisdiction.