News article taken from Eater.com
The lead wine buyer for Costco, Annette Alvarez-Peters seemed to have a little trouble discerning the difference between wine and toilet paper, on the CNBC show “The Costco Craze: Inside The Warehouse Giant,” which aired a couple of nights ago.
Here’s what she had to say:
Alvarez-Peters: “Is it more special than clothing, is it more special than televisions? I don’t think so.”
CNBC’s Carl Quintanilla: “Certainly it’s different than toilet paper? Or different that tin foil?”
Quintanilla: “Because it’s personal.”
Alvarez-Peters: “People can look at it that way. But at the end of the day, it’s a beverage.“
NB: Needless to say, it wasn’t exactly greeted too warmly by the wine industry! As Talia Baiocchi writes:
That’s who is charge of over one billion dollars in wine sales per year, selling “more wine than almost any retailer in the world.” She is also in charge of setting prices on wines that affect most of the country’s small wine retailers, as well as heading a team of seventeen international and domestic buyers. But what’s the big deal? Wine is, like, the same as selling a bunch of TVs.
The saddest part about all of this is that Costco’s former buyer, David Andrew, was a real wine lover. He left in 2003. In an America with more wine professionals than ever before, Costco didn’t see a reason to replace him with a wine buyer and wine educator that actually knew anything about wine. In fact, before Alvarez-Peters landed the job, she worked as a buyer in Costco’s auto parts division. But what’s the difference, right?
This news article comes from the always excellent Talia Baiocchi over at Eater.com. I do have to say though, I’m surprised she’s so surprised! I wasn’t.
This is Costco we’re dealing with! Did Talia really expect their lead wine buyer to start waxing poetic about how she’s super-passionate about French garagistes, how she longs for more wineries to convert to biodynamic viticulture and how she thoroughly backs the “natural wine movement”?
I wouldn’t expect anything less from Costco! Am I condoning her statement? No, but Costco, Sam’s Club, Walmart, and Total Wine can all be lumped together as far as I’m concerned. They’re just slinging grape juice.