Getting a Job in the Wine Business
I came across this book today: Launch Your Wine Career
I haven’t had time to get it/read it, as of yet, so this is not a review. However, it is the only book on the topic that I have seen (this is not an endorsement, just an observation.)
It addresses one of the top questions I get in class. I wonder, how specific are the examples in this book? Are they realistic? Can students actually put into action what they recommend?
The subtitle of this book rather irks me: “Dream Jobs in America’s Hottest Industry.” Selling people on the idea that they can read one book and get a “dream job” is … well, completely unrealistic. Furthermore, I don’t know of any “dream jobs” to begin with. Every job in the wine industry has negative aspects to it – I am sure every job in the world does. And the “hottest industry” – really? Sounds like the marketing department at work here.
Here is a plus – one of the authors is an instructor at Sonoma State – and I have heard very good things about their “How to Manage a Tasting Room” courses. I would assume that this book came out of questions arising in those classes.
I typically recommend that students take a look at this website for a REALISTIC idea of potential jobs: Wine Business Monthly – Wine Jobs. (Sorry, I don’t see a category for “dream jobs”….) If you see a job that looks appealing, then look to see what the requirements are, and then start working towards achieving them. Yes, lots of boring things will be required: excel, word, a bachelor’s degree, sales experience, etc.
The way I look at it is, you have 2 choices to get in the wine business (assuming you don’t want to go into production and/or you can’t afford to buy a winery):
- Get an entry-level “starter” job (usually paying $30K/year) and move up as fast as possible
- Look for “cross-over” work. This entails taking something you are already doing and finding a way to apply it to the wine trade.