Episode 343 of I’ll Drink to That! was released recently. It features Kevin Pike, who recently founded the import company Schatzi Wines after 14 years with Michael Skurnik and Terry Theise.
This is a return visit for Kevin Pike to the I’ll Drink to That! podcast, who also joined the show in 2013 for episode 93. That first episode was an insider’s view of national sales and portfolio management, with the kinds of insight about the nuts and bolts of wine import that is rarely made available outside the ranks of those who do it. Thus it is exciting to have Kevin’s perspective again, this time as he tackles developing his own company. Back in 2013 Kevin was working for industry titans Michael Skurnik and Terry Theise. Now he is working for himself, developing his own national import business. How does one build a wine import business from scratch? Kevin has some well thought out answers to that question, as well as some sharp observations about the current landscape for import in America. And Kevin addresses the supplier side as well. German Riesling, grower Champagne, Austria, and Beaujolais all figure into the conversation as Kevin assesses what is happening with those wines today. This interview is a rare look at the playbook of a veteran industry insider.
Listen to the stream above, or check it out in iTunes.
I’ll Drink to That is the world’s most listened-to 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