Imagine a wine tasting that features more than 500 wines from around the world – an opportunity to sip and savor some of the best vinos on the planet and a chance to be the first to try the new ones. Plus, the rare experience of meeting with the wine makers and having all your questions answered about their creations.
Sounds like a wine lover’s dream come true, but for the wine managers at H-E-B, it’s serious business at the Food and Wine Classic in Aspen. While most attendees are in a leisure party mood, these H-E-B folks are on a mission to source new wines for their customers at the very best prices.
Sip, swirl and spit – the three ‘S’ they live by as they moved from booth to booth at the recent F&W Aspen event, looking for the wines their customers would want to buy.
As Dan Schuette Business Development Manager, explained, “We can sell high profile, well known high dollar wines from Napa in our stores and we do that but we also like to look for opportunities to tap into second labels from these producers. That way, we can get an $50 bottle of wine into our H-E-B customers’ hands for a fraction of that price. Virtually the same wine, same wine maker…just a different label produced that can be made available for our customers. Those are the kinds of opportunities we look for at wine events like this.”
Business Unit Director David Duran says the team also searches the wine offerings for the new ‘it’ wine. “We do our research ahead of time, looking for trends…up and coming grape varietals, styles and or labels from all over the world.” He adds, “Our job is to find those wines and make them available to our customers at the lowest price possible.” “It’s all about delivering the maximum amount of value for the money every day!”
An example of one of their wine finds in Aspen is the trendy new wine If You See Kay made by the same folks responsible for the 100 Acre Cabernet, a wine that has scored a 99 from Robert Parker. But, If You See Kay will be less than $20.
Many times because of H-E-B’s tremendous size, their wine customers are the only consumers who get to enjoy those special new wines as H-E-B often buys all the wine that’s available, so you would only find these wines at HEB!
The turn around on the new labels discovered for H-E-B is usually pretty quick. Look for Bontera’s Butler Ranch Red, Coppola’s Eleanor Red Blend and Mionetto Organic Prosecco to name a few at an HEB near you soon.