I’ll Drink to That: Wine Distributor Jeff Kellogg

Episode 471 of I’ll Drink to That! was released recently, and it features Jeff Kellogg, who returns to the show, this time as the co-founder of the North Carolina wine distributor Kellogg Selections. Jeff, a former sommelier, was previously a guest in episode 230 of I’ll Drink to That!

Changing demographics are rewriting population maps all across the United States, and some mid-size cities – like San Antonio, Phoenix, and Charlotte – are experiencing rapid growth. What does that mean for the wine market in those places? Jeff Kellogg is betting that the population gains in Charlotte (which added over 15,500 new residents between 2016 and 2017) will translate into a market that is thirsty for the wines he is now selling there. He started a distribution business in North Carolina, after working as a wine buyer in both San Francisco and New York City. Jeff reasoned that the drinking habits of a newly expanded Charlotte might move more in step with the wine trends on the coasts. And he wanted to represent wines in North Carolina that he was familiar with from those other cities, but which hadn’t been previously available in NC. So, how is it working out? Jeff is very open in explaining some of the challenges he has faced so far, and which lessons he has had to learn the hard way. As the demographic map of the country continues to shift, and as a younger population of sommeliers looks to own their own businesses one day, Jeff’s choices may become increasingly common ones for many other people as well.

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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: @leviopenswine