Episode 286 of I’ll Drink to That has been released, and features Summer Wolff of Indie Wineries. Indie Wineries is an importer, mostly focused on Italian wines although with some domestic and other international selections. Summer is the founder of the company as well as the European Portfolio Manager.
People in other lines of work often express a lot of enthusiasm for entering the wine business either as a sommelier or as a wine importer, and really everybody who has those sorts of daydreams should probably listen to this interview, because it is basically the story of someone who successfully entered the import side of the business by getting along with people and being enthusiastic. A lot of what might be called “book building,” of adding producers to the portfolio, came about in Summer’s telling through personal relationships and friends of friends. It seems the opposite of a wine world built on big business distribution, promotional tie-ins, scalability, or liquor style brand building. It is a personal story of someone who was given a wine list to handle in a restaurant when the manager walked out, and who worked her way from there to having her own business by being curious and into it. Really it is all very relatable. If you imagine the wine world as some sort of mysterious fraternity with an arcane hierarchy that only the privileged few can successfully navigate, go ahead and listen to this interview. It will be a nice corrective.
Listen to the stream above, or check it out in iTunes.
I’ll Drink to That is the world’s leading wine podcast, hosted by Levi Dalton. Levi has had a long career working as a sommelier in some of the most distinguished and acclaimed dining rooms in America. He has served wine to guests of Restaurant Daniel, Masa, and Alto, all in Manhattan. Levi has also contributed articles on wine themes to publications such as The Art of Eating, Wine & Spirits magazine, Bon Appetit online, and Eater NY. Check out his pictures on Instagram and follow him on Twitter: @levi_opens_wine