Chapter 13 – Marguerite Villa

Philippe and I leave Kingston together. No point in taking two cars when airport car parks charge such extravagant rates. Between the two and a half days in Bordeaux for my meeting with Marguerite Villa, followed by the export meeting, and The Wine Shop’s wine fair in Edinburgh, we’ll be away for five days. TheContinue reading “Chapter 13 – Marguerite Villa”

Chapter 11- A Hellish Car Journey and Creative Wine Marketing

It’s raining hard when we leave The Super-Market, which allows André to comment on the British weather and the folly of anybody who chooses to live here. I ignore the dig and suggest we get on to the motorway and stop at the first services for a debriefing. ‘Will I be able to buy aContinue reading “Chapter 11- A Hellish Car Journey and Creative Wine Marketing”

On Wine Buyers

Serialising Tasting Notes, the novel I wrote twelve years ago, is bringing back memories of my years as a wine saleswoman and the many buyers I sold to. ‘Rachel sounds awful,’ my eldest daughter said yesterday. ‘Read on,’ I said. ‘She’s not.’ ‘Rachel’, Tasting Notes’ fictional supermarket wine buyer, is an amalgam of two buyersContinue reading “On Wine Buyers”

Chapter 10 – In the Lion(ess) Den

Rachel greets us with a smile as we come out of the lift, enquiring after André and Jean Jacques’s flight and pecking me on the cheek. A French supermarket buyer, in similar circumstances, would be much sterner. André’s face breaks into a smirk and his shoulders drop. French people often misread British politeness for weaknessContinue reading “Chapter 10 – In the Lion(ess) Den”

Chapter 9 – Drip, Drip, Drip, Stress

Arnaud jabs his index finger at me. ‘I will fulfil the mission Madame Villa has given me.’ I’ve been in his office since eight thirty and I’m starting to fidget. ‘I won’t share my success with anybody,’ he says. I am tempted to ask, ‘Which success?’ but think better of it. I need to getContinue reading “Chapter 9 – Drip, Drip, Drip, Stress”

Chapter 7 – Back to the Office

I fall into a comatose sleep the minute I sit on the plane and only wake up when we touch down at Gatwick. I reach Kingston upon Thames at five to three. It’s raining. The Wine Shop’s offices, and therefore Villa’s British headquarters, are located in an industrial estate, three miles from the centre ofContinue reading “Chapter 7 – Back to the Office”

On Selling Wine

In a recent Meininger Wine Business article, Robert Joseph asks, ‘What makes a good wine salesperson?’ I don’t know how good a salesperson I was but I stuck at it for 23 years, selling millions of bottles, which qualifies me to comment. Robert’s indisputable opener that ‘almost everything needs to be sold by someone’ remindsContinue reading “On Selling Wine”