With many wine drinkers limited to at-home consumption since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, it’s natural to wonder what might happen to wine in the restaurant and bar setting once more people begin eating and drinking outside of the house. Will wine drinkers balk at restaurant list prices after having grown accustomed to retail pricing? Will the rise in connoisseurship mean boom times for wine bars? Will discovering new wines be a big motivator, or will most drinkers want to stick to the classics as they largely have during the pandemic?
That’s what Adam Teeter and Zach Geballe discuss on this week’s episode of the “VinePair Podcast” — what we can presume about the world of on-premise wine consumption this summer and beyond, and why restaurants and bars might require new approaches and business models to meet consumers’ newfound expectations.
Or Check Out the Conversation Here
Adam: From Brooklyn, New York, I’m Adam Teeter.
Zach: And in Seattle, Washington, I’m Zach Geballe.
A: And this is the “VinePair Podcast.” Zach, I don’t know about you, but it’s nice here in New York — we’re talking about the weather. It’s really a beautiful day. The snow’s melting, which I’m excited about. I can’t do snow on the ground for a month straight, which I did this year. I realized (like I know that’s what the movies always told me happens in the winter) but this is my first time ever experiencing that in New York. I’ve lived here for 15 years, and there’s never been like a month straight of snow on the ground. So I always thought my elders were lying, but it was a month straight of snow on the ground this year. I’m over it, man. I’m over it. So I’m glad that it looks like it’s melting.
Z: I definitely had that experience my first year in New York. My first winter there, it started snowing. I was in my dorm room, and was like, “Oh, that’s kind of nice. Look, everything looks slightly less disgusting because it’s covered in a clean, white blanket.” Like 12 hours later, all the snow was black and brown, and it was gross. Everyone’s just like screaming at you to get out of their way. It’s New York, which is great. The lingering of the snow was not a thing I loved. I don’t know if you had this problem when you moved to New York, but I definitely had this problem; it snowed in Seattle from time to time, but I did not have actual snow clothing, especially boots. I had waterproof boots, which were not at all lined. So they were not warm. It really sucked, because I came from a place where when it snowed a foot, school was canceled. The first time it snowed a foot at NYU, I was like, “Oh, so we don’t have class.” One of my friends who was a sophomore was like, “What do you mean?” You live half a mile from your classroom, and you’re going to walk to school. That’s OK, you’ll live.
A: That’s so funny. Have you been drinking anything good recently?
Z: I’ve got to say, the thing that came to mind that I had recently is (I’m going to take a little issue with VinePair content, which I hate to do) but there was a slanderous piece about my beloved Willett Bourbon. Actually, I will say my love for Willett is more about the rye, which is why my dog’s name is Willett Rye Geballe and not Willett Bourbon Geballe. But I read this piece — very well written, very well sourced — about how TikTok hates Willett Bourbon, and I was like, “OK, well I’ve got a bottle of it right here. Allow me to render my own opinions.” I will say this: I think the piece does capture a fundamental truth about the bourbon, which is the best part of the bourbon is the bottle. I don’t think anyone doubts that. It is not an amazing bourbon in the way that maybe people will be led to believe by the sort of very distinctive bottle shape and the fact that Willett as a distillery, in general, has a very strong reputation. But I think it is also much better than most people give it credit for, and if their expectations are too high, it’s unclear to me whose fault that is.
A: Well, I think that’s the part of the phenomenon: All the single barrels and things that are really hard to find, they’re very highly celebrated for. It’s been a phenomenon among bourbon people forever. I think Aaron, who writes for us a bunch and is a bourbon expert, says it’s one of the bottles people like to dunk on. I think it’s because it feels like a marketing gimmick, because of the bottle. It’s one of these things where it’s like, this bottle feels like it’s more about the bottle than the liquid. There’s a lot of alcohol brands like that. Willett is not the only one doing that with this specific product. There’s a lot of alcohol brands that make really great liquid that have like one product where it’s like, “OK, well, why’d you do that?” Like, why? We could dunk on a bunch of people, like people who put their bourbon in a Baccarat bottle and you’re like, “But it’s the same bourbon. What are you doing?” Or tequilas that come in these like ridiculously ornate bottles that are like porcelain and whatever, and you’re like “OK, I’m paying for the bottle, not the liquid.” I think that’s where bourbon purists come after it, because they’re like, “My Pappy is just in a regular bottle, and it’s delicious, and that’s why it’s expensive.” So did you read the article and drink it out of spite?
Z: I drink it fairly regularly, but I think my point was, I was prompted to sort of go back and be like, “Well, let me make sure that I know what I like, and how I feel about it,” because it had been a little bit of time since I last had myself a glass of Willett bourbon. Again, I think it is a fine bourbon, I would not call it one of the great bourbons I’ve had. That’s not the point. At least I wouldn’t make that point. But I think it’s a little better than people think. A part of the issue is just you’re right, there is a disconnect between what you might be led to expect and what is actually in the bottle. As you said, that is not the only bourbon, or spirit, or thing in the beverage alcohol world where that is true. What have you been drinking?
A: I didn’t really drink this week. I took a dry week for a lot of reasons. I’m thinking back to last week because we recorded on Thursday. Mayacamas was really nice and sent me their new Merlot. I had that on Friday night, and thought that was really delicious. I had that when we had some tasty treats for dinner, nothing super fancy. We did a kale salad, and I made smoked sausage for myself, and fried eggs for Naomi because she’s a vegetarian. It was a very tasty pairing that I enjoyed. Nothing crazy. I’m excited about this weekend because I’m going to go drink outside. I made a reservation on Saturday and I’m going to go drink at Threes with a friend or two. So I’m excited about having some draft beer, one of the things that feels like this crazy novelty in Covid. Since that wine, I haven’t really had a lot to drink. But I always find Mayacamas to be a really solid producer. Obviously, I know it’s very expensive, so I’m very grateful that they like to send me a bottle or two every once in a while. But the bottle was really delicious, so thank you guys. So I think that brings us to an interesting segue to our conversation today, which comes out of a question that was posed to me recently. Which was: We know that behaviors have changed, right? During Covid, we have recognized that more people are drinking at home than they used to. They have not traded down in the way that a lot of people thought they might. So for a lot of people in Covid, the world has been fine. They were able to work their jobs remotely. They were able to continue to maintain those jobs and make those same salaries. So what that meant is they still had the same disposable income they would normally have when they were dining out. They were just now spending it at home. A lot of people used that disposable income to buy wine. I want to keep this conversation just about wine, even though the same could be said about spirits and beer. So what you saw was this phenomenon where people were going to their local wine shop and buying wines that have now become weeknight bottles in the $20 and $30 ranges that they used to maybe discover on the list, so now they started finding really solid Cabernet and Pinot Noir, and things like that. So the question that was posed to me was: Now that people know that that’s what those cost — so let’s say Mayacamas Chardonnay, which I think is $35 retail, let’s say that’s what you started buying — are you going to be willing to pay its markup for the same bottle now at the restaurant, or are you going to be looking for something different? So is wine behavior going to change? Let’s say you return to those comfort foods, as we’ve called them — you return to drinking Cabernet, Merlot, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and things like that at home. Is that going to be the same thing you drink out? Or are you going to go out and expect something different? Are you going to go out for discovery? It was an interesting question, and I don’t know where I land on it. So, as always, I’d like you to take the first shot at it, and then I can disagree.
Z: Perfect. I want to break this into two pieces; the question that was posed to you has two questions nested within it. One is about whether the kinds of wine that people are going to want when they’re out at a restaurant or bar are going to be different than what they’ve been drinking during quarantine. I want to save that piece of the question for a little bit later on in the conversation. The other one is this price-sensitivity question, which I think is also really interesting, and something that — I’ll be honest — I hadn’t thought a ton about, at least in the light of this specific period. You’re definitely right that whereas in restaurants as a buyer, we always were sensitive to wines that had a very widely understood price point in retail settings, especially like grocery stores. There are any number of wines that have a strong retail presence, most of them are in the $15 range, somewhere between, say, $13 and $20. They’re the kind of wines that you might also consider pouring by the glass, and at a lot of restaurants, they come at a similar wholesale price, to allow you to hit your desired margins. But there is an awareness that it’s hard to charge $13 for a glass of Cabernet when someone can get a whole bottle at the grocery store for 14 bucks. If it’s really widely available, that’s going to be something that people are aware of. Moving out of the glass-pour category and into the bottle list, this raises the question: Is there going to be a whole set of wines that are now going to be subject to similar wide understanding, or at least enough understanding, that guests would be turned off by standard restaurant markup? I don’t know that I have a direct answer to this. I will say, the thing I have thought about is: Like many things in the restaurant industry coming out of Covid, certain things that were just “the way things are done” need to be reevaluated. I think beverage alcohol pricing might be part of that. For a long time, there was a pretty universal format that was only occasionally deviated from in restaurants. You marked up your glass pours four times the cost of the bottle. You’re basically paying for the bottle with the first glass. You marked up your bottles of wine three times the wholesale price. Maybe you played around with things at the margins, but that was pretty locked in for most establishments. Maybe if you’re a really high-end restaurant with some really high-end wine, maybe you don’t mark it up quite as much at the really top end because you’re still making a ton of actual profit when you sell one of those wines. I think that that’s something that definitely will have to be revisited because, as you point out, people are just not accustomed to paying $80 or $100 for a bottle when they know that they could get that same bottle at their local wine shop for 40 bucks. That’s a big ask. So I think it’s definitely going to shift some consumer behavior in that regard.
A: I think there is real data that supports why this question came up. It isn’t related to wine — it’s related to Cognac. The Cognac boom was already happening prior to Covid. If you look at any significant data — including our VinePair insights data — it was already moving on an upward trend. But then people think what caused it to explode was this realization among Cognac drinkers that the high-end Cognac they were drinking when they were out was so much more affordable when they were at home, and they could take that disposable income and put it towards two or three bottles of that Cognac. The question is: Is that the same for wine? Like, if there’s a Barolo I like that I would order out maybe once in a while, at $150, but now I know I can get it for 50, I could get three. What does that mean? It potentially does mean that there’s going to be more of a desire for discovery at the restaurant. I think that’s a good thing for small producers. I think that’s going to be a thing that larger producers, or regions that are more classic, are going to need to understand and accept. I think we’re going to see this sort of move where there may be one or two sort of classics at a lot of restaurants, but if you already have discovered the Napa Cabernet producers you like now over the last year, the odds of you going to a restaurant and being willing to dabble in a new Napa producer is probably pretty rare. You know who you like now — those are your producers. You’re drinking that at home, and maybe you’ll continue to play around at home at that price point. You’re willing to pay now because you’ve gotten used to that being the price point for Napa Cab. It’s just a theory, but maybe out, you’re willing to now explore a region from California that you’re not as well aware of, that maybe you can’t get at your local shop, or there’s not as large of a selection of that. Someone says, “Hey, if you like Napa Cabs, they’re making really interesting wines in the Sierra Foothills or Paso, and I have some wines from here you should check out.” I wonder if the same is going to be true for other places. The other thing that I wonder is if these restaurants will have wine professionals on staff anymore. Whereas the discovery prior to Covid was very much focused on geeky, very esoteric wines and a lot of places, now the person buying the wine, while they will have a wine background, will also be in charge of probably running the restaurant because a lot of restaurants are going to be looking to make up lost money. I think that’s the other thing to be aware of is that when these places reopen, they are going to reopen trying to make up for over a year of lost time. So they’re going to try to very quickly make up that revenue, which means not rehiring staff they don’t need. What will that look like? Again, I’m not totally sure, but I have a feeling that even the restaurateur or the person buying will try to have stuff that brings people in and away from other restaurants. I think very quickly, when things reopen, we will like being out, but we won’t be out just to be out. Do you know what I mean? I think there’ll be six months of people being like, “Yeah, I just want to eat a burger out, and I want to drink beer” or “I just want a pizza and whatever wine.” But then I think, consumers will start to say, “No, I want to be out, but I want to be out at the coolest spot. I want to be out at the place that’s the craziest and the most interesting.” Because, again, the difference in what is happening with Covid is that the people who have disposable income are not hurting, so it’s not like 2008. There is this amount of disposable income still in the economy that people of certain means have, and they are going to be the ones who are going to go out and say, “OK, wow me. I got really into wine over the pandemic and started collecting. Whatcha got?” And I think that’s going to make it very different.
Z: I think one of the hard-to-answer questions that this raises is on the service side: Is the venue for that a full-service, sit-down restaurant? Or are we going to see a huge demand for wine bars or things like that, where like maybe if you’re the place that wants to focus on wine discovery, you have to have a concept that really supports that, where your staff is made of knowledgeable wine pros and your business model is built around that. I do think you’re totally right, that we are going to see a lot of restaurants that reopen either with or without full-time wine professionals, or the wine person is also wearing a bunch of other hats, or it’s not full-service dining, it’s counter service. I’ve totally been honest about not being a fan of counter service, as someone who’s been a service professional for a long time. But I think I have come around to the idea that there is something to be said about the way that it may free up concepts that are much more beverage-focused. A bar is just a counter service restaurant that doesn’t serve very much food, right? That’s all it is. I think you could do the same thing with wine. It just allows you to allocate your resources in terms of staffing in places that might benefit you business-wise. I think you’re right. People are going to want to discover new things. I think what’s going to remain to be seen is whether “new” for a lot of consumers is whether it’s considered totally off the beaten path variety, or if it’s going to be just a producer that they’re not familiar with and it’s maybe in the style they already like. That will probably vary from consumer to consumer and market to market to some extent. But I do think that also there is something to be said about what kind of establishments will exist that can really meet that need, and I’m not sure about that.
A: I think there’s going to be two things that support your theory about counter service, which I like we said, we’ve seen some restaurants already pivot there. This wine bar counter service idea you’re talking about — actually, to me, the more I think about it, it makes more and more sense. One, you can keep costs down so you could be more competitive. But also, I think for the next few years there’s going to continue to be a bunch of these variants of the virus that we continue to hear about. Right now, we’re hearing there are multiple variants now in New York City. There’s this crazy California variant. They’re going to keep coming. And whether they just make people sick, I think people are scared of Covid enough at this point that even if the vaccine only causes you to just have a cold, you’re going to take precautions, because I think you’re gonna still see a lot of people who are only willing to dine outside. A counter-service restaurant may be easier to deal with. Like, “Come on in and quickly order, and then head outside and we’ll bring everything to your table outside, and we won’t really bother you that much.” I think there’s going to be a lot of that: where people want to go to their table, they want to be left alone with their friends. They want to hang out. They don’t want to have to deal with the service staff that much, not because they don’t want to deal with the service staff, but because they don’t want to come into contact with people that they don’t feel like they trust, even if everyone is vaccinated. I think that’s 100 percent supportive of your theory. My question then becomes: Are they willing to drink other producers of a style they already like? I think they might be, but only if that style is within the price they’re already used to paying. I think that the only way you can do that is if you’re able to be price competitive with these wine shops. So are you able to offer a by-the-glass that seems in line with shelf prices. Like, “Oh, yeah, OK. I could see that this $10 glass of Cabernet from Napa is in line, because I’m paying around 30 bucks for it in the store, so it’s not a crazy markup.” But if all of a sudden I start seeing like $20 glasses of Napa Cabernet on the wine list at this counter-service restaurant, I’m just thinking to myself, “Well, why would I do that? I’m finding bottles I like for 50 or 60 bucks.” I think that’s where it’s going to be really interesting — to see how people play with this and figure it out. The thing we keep talking about that we’re forgetting when it comes to wine, and with everyone running back to restaurants, is that’s not the only thing that people have missed in the pandemic. The other thing they’ve missed, in a large part, is entertaining at home. That was huge prior to the pandemic. And that’s going to come back in full force, too.
Z: And probably first, too, because you can gather people who you trust in your home.
A: Exactly. So you’re going to start bringing the wines that you discovered during the pandemic home, too. You’re going to even become more aware of the pricing because now you’re buying for a larger group. So I think when you go out, it’s going to be, “What can you deliver for me that I have not had before, especially if you’re trying to upsell?” Like, maybe you didn’t drink a lot of Burgundy at home during the pandemic. I mean, I certainly didn’t. So maybe you still will be willing to pay Burgundy pricing while you’re out. Maybe you won’t be willing to pay Willamette Valley Pinot Noir pricing out if you drink a lot of Willamette Valley Pinot Noir at home. That’s the question that I think everyone’s grappling with; where is this going to land? Because we’ve never seen this many people at one time be interested in this area, and be interested in this area at such a deep level because they were home and this became a hobby for a lot of people. It’s just going to be crazy to see how it impacts the entire dining world.
Z: You talked about price sensitivity, and I definitely think that’s a piece of it, but I also think this is where two related pieces are going to come into play. One is scarcity, right? Because I think that one area where pre-pandemic restaurants often trafficked in wines that were either actually scarce, or were made scarce because they were only made available to restaurants. There wasn’t competition for that exact wine because it was often just allocated to restaurants, so the producer, the importer, and the distributor were all kind of invested in this idea that this is essentially a restaurant-only wine, or maybe it goes through a few retail accounts who have already pre-sold. That’s to preserve the luster of the price point. Now, because people didn’t want to not sell those wines for a year, and most restaurants are not doing enough on-premise volume to support all those wines, those wines are out there. It’s unclear to me whether those wines will go back on allocation to restaurants only, or whether they’ll stay in retail. I don’t even want to speculate, but the point is, people have become accustomed to being able to find those wines. So you can’t always now rely on scarcity to support pricing. But there are wines that you can, like small-production wine (again, coming to your point of this maybe benefiting smaller producers.) If there are only 200 cases of wine made, well then someone might be able to do some research and might be a little bit price sensitive, but it’s definitely not at the grocery store, so they don’t have a ready comparison price-wise. And I do think that along with counter service, another thing we’ve seen in the pandemic, and I think we’ll see going forward, is the need for virtually every restaurant or wine bar to have both an on- and off-premise license if they can swing it.
A: I agree.
Z: It’s because the thing that you can do as a wine bar or restaurant to help subsidize a wine list that maybe doesn’t have the same margin is: If someone has a wine that they really like, you can send them home with three extra bottles at a retail price. They’re there, they’ve just enjoyed the wine, they know they like it, and you’ve got it on hand. There are parts of the country where that is easier, there are parts where it’s more difficult. I think those rules have been loosened almost everywhere to allow restaurants to continue to actually sell inventory. It’s unclear what will happen after the pandemic, when and if any of those laws will be rescinded, or if waivers will be rescinded. But if you are able to swing it, and you can have an on- and off-premise license, I think that is about as much of a slam dunk as anything.
A: To take this conversation to a totally other level, do you think that’s going to mean that the retailers are going to demand that they’re allowed to serve wine inside the retail shops? Because I feel like that’s a big thing that you see in certain markets. I think Graft in Charleston, S.C., is a perfect example— they’re a wine shop but they’re allowed to serve glasses and cheese plates. To me, that feels fair. If not, you’re going to hear crazy amounts of screaming from wine retailers saying, “This isn’t fair. Why do they get to serve you food, have a dinner capture you, and then also get a sale? We want the same opportunity.”
Z: So you’re saying like Total Wine, for example, is going to put some tables in their retail spaces?
A: Look, I think Total Wine is going to try and fight it, point-blank. I think the larger retailers are just trying to fight it point-blank. But I think the smaller mom-and-pop retailers are going to try to fight it now because also, a lot of wine professionals have moved to retail in the last year. A lot of them are also going to say, “Well, I want the opportunity.” That’s also why I think what you brought up about the allocated bottles is really interesting, because a lot of the people who are now buying those allocated bottles are former on-floor professionals who are now in wine retail and may stay in wine retail because they realize they like the hours more. They get to go home at like 9:30 or 10 every night. (Some of them — I recognize that some wine shops stay open later.) But they have decent hours. They get to come in later in the day. Sometimes the wine shop opens around 1 or 2. Some open early in the morning, like Astor, but it totally depends. And they’ve gotten to still buy some of the wines they love, so they’re going to keep fighting for those wines. They’re not going to say, like, “Oh, yeah, I’m now willing to let all those wines go back to restaurants.”
Z: I think it’s going to require recalibration on all parts — distributors and importers. Also, there’s probably and producers are going to have to think, “If I had an on-premise-only wine previously, does that still make sense for me?” I mean, probably not, especially because they’ve had to probably abandon that stance in the last year. One thing that seems true to me, and is likely to remain true, is that we have seen a fundamental shift because of the pandemic in the amount of wine that is sold through on-premise versus off-premise channels. Even when restaurants are able to open more fully, I don’t think that we are going to go all the way back to the ratio we had pre-pandemic, because there will be fewer restaurants, their wine programs will be smaller, and people may still be dining at home more. I think you’re going to see off-premise sales continue to be more important than they had been pre-pandemic, even if it does swing back a little bit towards on-premise. But I also think we’re going to enter a world where some of the classic dividing lines that we used in restaurants and bars previously versus retail shops, are going to break down. They were already starting to break down in certain markets. You pointed out Graft. There are lots of great examples in Seattle and in all kinds of markets where it’s legal to be both an on- and off-premise retailer. People are already seeing that there’s a real benefit if you’re wine-focused as an enterprise, to be able to both capture glass-pour sales (because those have high margins) and also be able to capture volume sales in terms of retail bottles. Because, again, that’s a volume that you’re just not going to be able to do. When someone is sitting at a table, they’re probably not going to drink four bottles of wine, but they might buy four bottles of wine on the way out the door.
A: Look, it’s so much better for the consumer. I get that there are businesses, and they want to make money by the end of the day. But shouldn’t we all care about the consumer? For the consumer to be able to be at a place — whether it’s a wine shop or a restaurant, where they can have a delicious wine that they discover either through their server or on their own, and then they get to buy those bottles and take them home. It’s just better for everybody. There’s probably less annoyance at the wine shop. There will be no, “Well, this was recommended to me, and then I took it home and I hated it. Screw that shop. I’m never going back. I also hated the person.” It’s just good for everyone if we can do this. I understand it can create more competition, and I know it’s going to suck for a lot of wine shops, but they’ll be fine.
Z: Then those wine shops had an outdated model. Your business is not entitled to succeed forever just because you’ve been doing it. We talked about this at the beginning of the pandemic, and we got a little bit of flack for being a little bit callous. But the reality is, your business is not owed an indefinite life just because you like it. If you don’t meet consumer needs as a staid wine shop, tough shit. Someone’s going to do it better than you, and they’re not cheating. They’re just giving people what they want. If you can’t get on their level, then you’re probably going to struggle.
A: You talk about this all the time in traditional business, right? You have these businesses that we refer to as “cows.” You’re supposed to slaughter your cows. (Terrible analogy — I didn’t come up with this. It’s business speak. Sorry, people who are vegetarians out there. Naomi would totally kill me right now.) But you’re supposed to slaughter them because they get fat and lazy, and then they graze all day. It’s these businesses that refuse to adapt. I think what’s interesting is that Covid has finally brought disruption to the alcohol business in a very crazy way that it hasn’t faced in a hundred years. You’re right: the people who figure this out will succeed, and they will adapt, and they will have strong business models, and the people that don’t won’t. We saw this in music, we saw this in literature, we’re seeing it in movies right now. The major studios who are so angry that HBO has chosen to release all of their movies for 30 days first on the platform are furious. But it is what it is. This is where people are moving. They want to watch movies at home, and they’re going to be able to see more movies. There will be some movies people still go to the theater for, but for the majority, they will watch them at home. It’s the same with alcohol; they will go to the places where they have great experiences. This is what I love about New York City’s beer laws. You can go to a taproom, and you can drink a bunch of different beers on draft, and then you can go home with a 6-pack that you love. It’s what I had been so jealous of about places like New Orleans, Seattle, and Charleston— where you can do these things because it’s so much more pleasurable as a consumer. Let’s all just adapt and get better. And then guess what? The businesses that come up with the best concepts will survive as they always have and will thrive. Businesses that just take advantage of the fact that they’re the only location in the neighborhood will be successful until someone comes and challenges them. That’s the way it’s supposed to be. Zach, awesome conversation, as always. I know we went off on a little bit of a tangent, talking about business a little bit more than just wine out, but I thought, I thought it was a good one. So I appreciate it. We’d love to hear what you all think — shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Let us know, too, if there’s another topic that you’re itching to hear us chat about. We always love your suggestions. And Zach, I hope you enjoy a glass of Willett bourbon tonight.
Z: We’ll see. I’m not sure what the evening plans are.
A: Talk to you next week!
Z: Sounds great.
Thanks so much for listening to the podcast. If you love this show as much as we love making it, then please give us a rating or review on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, or whatever it is you get. It really helps everyone else discover the show. Now for the credits. VinePair is produced and recorded in New York City and in Seattle, Washington, by myself and Zach Geballe, who does all the editing and loves to get the credit.
Also, I would love to give a special shout-out to my VinePair co-founder, Josh Malin, for helping make all this possible, and also to Keith Beavers, VinePair’s tastings director, who is additionally a producer on the show. I also want to, of course, thank every other member of the VinePair team, who are instrumental in all of the ideas that go into making the show every week. Thanks so much for listening, and we’ll see you again.
Ed. note: This episode has been edited for length and clarity.