Snake Oil or Passionate Salesman

It amazes me what will get my creative (and I know that's a debatable phrase) juices flowing.  I say that as we recently had a new Wine School at the shop focused on tasting wines blind.  I thought it was a very interesting idea.  We compared 3 different wines of the same grape variety with using 3 different varietals.  We were fortunate to have one of the few Master Sommeliers in the world lead the class.  

He was informative and entertaining. The "students" were able to taste the differences of wines both as to their locations and production methods.  As I said, very informative.  I like this idea as I mentioned in a previous post where I had been to a wine release event where I was able to taste, side by side, 6 cabernets from 6 different vineyards in Napa.  The results and knowledge gained was very informative as well. 

Okay, so where I am going with this and is this what I'm writing about?  Nope! 

Near the end of the blind tasting the speaker was talking about things like what makes a good wine versus a great wine, personal tastes (likes and dislikes)  and are expensive wines really worth the money (and as he said and I agree - only if you think it does).  But then he says something I totally didn't expect since he was in a wine shop with 3 or 4 of our employees there, he said "never trust a wine salesman."

Taking time to think that comment over for a bit, I talked to the "teacher" mentioning that while I liked the class overall, I did question that one comment.  Now I know it wasn't directed at me personally, and I know he was trying to make the point that like most salespeople, you need to consider the source.  Believe me, in my own life I always look at things like what's in it for the person trying to sell me something and how much can I really believe them. BUT!

Having just been compared to the local snake oil salesman, it made me think about a previous blog post where I talked about this job being my "passion."  I think that is what differenciates the snake oil from the truly passionate salespeople who want to use their knowledge and "passion" for their work to help others.  I've long stated to people who come into the shop that I like to think that my motivation for bringing together wine and wine drinker is part of that passion to assist and provide the best wine drinking experience.  There is no other motivation.  I get no commission for my sales, or any other type of renumeration.  I liken it to Julia Child and her not accepting sponsors so as not to be seen as showing favorites.

Am I getting a little defensive about this whole thing?  Yeah, I am.  But I'm sure that anyone that takes great care in their work and honestly tries to provide the best SERVICE, knowing that having helped a client and having that client be happy, is what will hopefully bring that client back, and in a small way, provide personal satisfaction to myself.

Off my high horse for now?  Yeah, I guess so.  It's back to digging into wine magazines and the like to continue my journey, not as the local snake oil salesman, but as someone looking for that next great wine.  Oh, and as I've been told a few times, and acknowledging that I am a wine snob, that this journey is not just for high priced wines, that I have, and will always continue to look for value priced wines of superior quality.  Okay, that was my last time before getting off my horse.

Ultimately, my clients have to decide, snake oil or passionate salesman.  Boy, I hope I haven't fallen into a snake pit!!