Starting A Wine Tasting Business

I am currently a wine advisor through a company. I have been doing it for a while and currently I am in the process of researching how to branch off an start my own in-home wine tasting business. Do you know of great resources I could read up on? Also for licensing, permits and such are in-home wine tastings categorized under the retail sector of wine regulations? If you could share any knowledge or resources that I can reference this information it would be greatly appreciate. Thank you!

Answer From Expert Roger Bohmrich MW

The easiest way to learn about the home wine tasting business is to do so on a trial basis for one of the companies who are already active in this field. There are three of note, and perhaps others: Boisset Wine Living, WineShop at Home and Traveling Vineyard. They pay a one-time fee to a seller and provide various forms of support, including packages of wine shipped to your door (in most but not all states). You will be paid a commission on the sales. Studies show that the average income realized by direct sellers tends to be rather low, but that of course depends on how active and enterprising each seller is prepared to be. You may find that this is the best route to explore this business and decide if you want to give it your all. As to permits or licenses, they will depend upon the state and can vary considerably. You should contact the alcoholic beverage control board in your state for specifics.

About The Expert

Roger has enjoyed a lengthy career in the wine trade as an importer and retailer, and at present he is an educator, speaker and consultant. He set up and managed Millesima USA, a New York merchant affiliated with a leading European company. Previously, he served as senior executive of importers Frederick Wildman & Sons. In recent years, Roger has judged wine competitions in Argentina, Turkey and China. Roger became one of America's first Masters of Wine in 1993.

Visit Roger Bohmrich MW's web site