Last year, when I was still writing Wine Brands, I had the pleasure to meet and interview Bob Wesley, who was then the wine manager of the upscale grocery store Lazy Acres in Santa Barbara. When talking to him and looking at the wines displayed in the store I was impressed by his original choices of wine and his vast knowledge of wines from all over the world.
Upon arriving to our summer place in beautiful and sunny Santa Barbara, we found on the table as a welcome gift by our friend a bottle of Tutu Pinot Grigio. The label featured a ballerina serigraphed directly on the bottle. This got a good laugh from us since our friend is a choregrapher. We loved the wink! And in the gift wrap we found the business card of Bob Wesley, now managing director of a new wine store, The Wine Hound! Surprise! Surprise!
Intrigued both by the label and the new store, we paid a little visit to Bob’s new store. It is quite like Bob’s style: a real “wine hound”, Bob will taste hundreds of wines – even of the worst kind – to bring his customers only the best and present them with a carefully selected list of the best wines from the US, Europe, Australia, South America and any wine producing areas.
The store is backed by Vinesse, a company out of Westlake Village that runs the Web-based American Cellars Wine Club. Vinesse wanted to expand into bricks and mortar. They chose Bob Wesley to run this operation and we can only wish him the best of luck: Bob is doing a terrific job in the store.
While perusing The Wine Hound, I noticed a few new trends in labeling. I’ll keep you posted on those trends as they seem quite interesting for the wine business after I talked to Bob and took a few pictures to ilustrate the evolution.