How We Choose Our Wines—Behind the Wine Buying Process

We’re proud of what our Wine Buyers do, and their job is far more interesting than one might imagine. Who are they and what do they do?

Our Wine Buyers taste thousands of wines, travel the world, and meet with multiple wineries and agents every year. It’s a tough (but tasty) job, that is driven by a true passion for good wine.

They have stringent prerequisites for picking wines. Namely, all wines must
- Be unique
- Have great value
- Have exceptional flavour profiles

They also have a carefully laid out set of criteria that go beyond the basics of colour, flavour, structure, and intensity. For example, they begin with the quality of the wine, using their extensive training and expertise to choose profiles that have excellent flavour and structure.

Then, they look at the unique attributes of the wine. So, for instance, they frequently option wines from unfamiliar regions, or sample wines with uncommon blends of grapes, or find wines from common regions that have unique character. Wines that show more traditional character are also key to our Buyers’ selection, and include beautiful Bordeaux from France, or New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc.

Finally, our Wine Buyers always ask themselves “Who would be interested in this wine?” and “Would this wine be popular in our stores?” Of course, it’s great to try new wines, but they also love picking selections that are anytime favourites.

Of all the wines that our Buyers taste, only a tiny 5% actually end up on our shelves—that’s how high their standards are! The Buyer Team meets every week to taste a lineup of new wines from both large-scale and small-parcel importers and wineries to ensure they only source the best wines from around the world. They also conduct blind wine tastings, knowing nothing about the region or varietal. They simply taste with no pre-determined knowledge about the bottle. And, when they want a few extra opinions to decide if a wine is a winner, they turn to a panel of Everything Wine Sales Associates—all of whom are WSET certified.

So, if you’ve ever wondered how our wines end up on our store shelves and online, it’s through the hard work and passion of our Buyers. Cheers to them!