Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Oenophobia's Got A Gig!!!

As many of you know, in addition to writing about wine and things related to wine, I have aspirations of opening a winebar in the Monmouth County, NJ area. The beginning stages of that dream are slow in progressing, mostly because liquor licenses are hard to come by and are extremely expensive. In Monmouth County, you can expect to pay over $500,000 for a license to sell liquor.

The winebar is one-half of the Oenophobia business model. The second half is In-Home Wine Tasting And Education. You may be wondering, "What exactly is this and how does it work?"

It's quite simple, and can be a lot of fun and informational for all participants especially for the hosts. How is works is: I (or one of the Oenophobia associates) would come to your home on a night you have planned a dinner party or cocktail party. We would bring wines to the party, the selection of which is the result of a consultation with you regarding price, varietal, theme, etc. We would talk about the wines, allow you to do tastings on each, explaining to you and your guests about what you are tasting and why. We would show you different ways to appreciate wines and how to discern the difference between well-crafted and poorly-crafted wines. We can do blind tastings for more educated wine drinkers and beginners alike. Oenophobia can help someone build a wine inventory for a cellar and can assist in travel planning for trips to Napa and Sonoma. At each tasting, we will provide tasting notes that you can save in a binder or journal to make it easy to remember the wines you are tasting.

In-home wine tastings have been growing steadily in popularity with the Gen X & Y sets as an alternative to entertaining or just going out with friends. As this generation begins having children, time is limited for entertaining or socializing. Oenophobia allows a group of friends to have a social night learning about different wines and how to taste and appreciate wine. In today's wine and liquor marketplace, the 27-40 year old demographic is buying more wine than any other group. People find something in wine that grounds them and we think it is because wine is a natural product, bringing good cheer when so much of the world has become artificial, and impersonal. Wine appreciation is not about getting drunk. At most tastings, we recommend a spit bowl so that tasters can enjoy the flavor of the wines without fear of over-consumption. Realistically, who wants to spit such a flavorful nectar....but someone has to drive home!

So, this Thursday November 29th, we have our first a Southern Living At Home party. For those of you who have never attended a Southern Living At Home party, it is a hostess party, where Person A invites lots of her friends for wine and cheese and to peruse a catalogue of high-quality housewares and foods and they can purchase these items at the party for delivery a short while later. The hostess also receives a credit for use in the catalogue, based on how much her friends buy. This is very similar to many other Hostess Parties, including Tupperware (which I don't even think is being done anymore....what am I, stuck in the 70's!!!??) or Sensaria Natural Bodycare or jewelry parties.

Our Hostess on this night is also a Southern Living distributor, and a friend of ours. When we received her invitation, I thought this would be a great way to launch Oenophobia: The Wine Tasting on a trial basis. On this night, I will be acting as a sales consultant to Tinton Falls Buy Rite and will be pouring 4 wines for tasting. After each tasting, we will discuss the wine and then I will tell the party attendees that they can purchase these wines through me on that night (it they liked them) and we deliver the wine to their home at no additional charge. I will also explain the Oenophobia concept and can take reservations for us to present wines at dinner or wine tasting parties for the attendees.

For me, personally, I want to get the word out that Oenophobia: A Fear Of Wine is alive and well. I want to get more blog subscribers and spread the word of my interest in Wine Education and hopefully create a customer base for the opening of the winebar, Oenophobia.

If you are interested in attending the Southern Living party on November 29th and you are in the Jersey Shore area, it is being held in Oceanport and you can email me at and I will forward the details to you .

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