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Wine merchants, or wine retailers, sell a range of alcoholic beverages including, but not necessarily limited to, wines. These beverages are then sold to private and public consumers via licensed premises such as off-licences or directly through mail order channels or the internet.
Wine merchants may manage or run their own shops. Some work as buyers for a retail chain or supermarket and some work for wholesalers, selling their wines to hotels, restaurants, pubs and shops.
If the wine merchant runs their own shop, they will responsible for the shops day-to-day running including creating and maintaining good customer relationships, appointing and managing staff and managing the shops finances and increasing profit.
If the wine merchant is a buyer, they will be required to visit vineyards abroad, select wines for sale, ensure there are good production standards, negotiate buying prices and sustain good relationships with the producers.
It is essential to be a successful wine merchant, that you have a passionate interest in wine and a good knowledge of alcoholic beverages. It is also essential that you have an excellent, developed sense of smell and taste to judge product quality and be willing to develop your knowledge. Good communication and management skills are required, as well as good negotiating skills when dealing with producers.
The job may involve a lot of travel when visiting different vineyards, and knowledge of another European language can be helpful.
Salaries can start at around £16,00 a year and with experience this can rise to over £55,000 a year, or more.
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