Top Trending: The 10 Wealthiest Self-Made Women in the World

No Sour Grapes

Sure, wine has been hot for a few years now--but the latest trend is hobnobbing with clients at wine-tasting establishments like wineries and wine bars.
  • ---Shares
This story appears in the April 2008 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »
Reader Resource

Apply now to be an Entrepreneur 360™ company. Let us tell the world your success story. Get Started »

"A lot more companies are finding value in learning more about wine," says Don Sritong, corporate sommelier and managing partner of Just Grapes, a Chicago wine shop specializing in corporate education and events. Even ordering a great bottle at a business dinner, he says, "is a function of everyday business. A lot of deals are done at the dinner table now, and [people] need to be as confident with the components of a dinner--one being the wine list--as they are in the boardroom."

Bonding with clients over a great wine is all in a day's work for Christine Deussen, founder of Deussen Global Communications Inc., a New York City PR firm with annual sales of about $1.7 million. Founded in 2002, the company represents many wineries--and Deussen, 39, has found that mingling with members of the news media, for example, can be a lot of fun at a winery.

Being confident about wine is key. Sritong suggests taking a class on how to navigate a wine list before you try to impress clients simply by ordering the most expensive bottle. You can even have a wine expert come to you for a wine class with your customers.

Wine events can vary from a short tasting at a wine store or winery to a full-blown winery trip. Deussen says that a quick wine tasting might be appropriate for breaking the ice with a new client, while a wine and four-course dinner might be more suited for building on an established relationship. Bonding over wine can be a satisfying business-building tactic. Says Deussen, "It's something you enjoy together."

Edition: May 2017

Get the Magazine

Limited-Time Offer: 1 Year Print + Digital Edition and 2 Gifts only $9.99
Subscribe Now
OK

This website uses cookies to allow us to see how our website and related online services are being used. By continuing to use this website, you consent to our cookie collection. More information about how we collect cookies is found here.