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WineTrails Gift Basket -- Sound Easy?

November 27, 2010

Well, a funny thing happened on the way to the Forum. I naively thought having a little ol' wine related gift basket business would be cake. After all, if one could run around the NW visiting hundreds of wineries and live to write about it, what could be so difficult about starting a wine gift basket venture?

Think again.

First, you need a license...a special license that grants you permission to purchase wine (and beer) at wholesale and then ship it around the U.S. Think 50 pages of forms to complete followed by a public comment and with a little luck you get a license in the mail. Next, we needed the contents -- not the schlocky crap but rather gourmet treat from the NW and premium quality wine. Sounds easy enough but budget a whole day (or two in my case) to visiting the Pacific Market Center in Seattle where as a wholesale buyer you have the opportunity to cruise through a gazillion showrooms sampling amazing chocolates, biscuits, smoked salmon, cheese balls, you name it. It is exhausting!

Now comes the time to assemble the gift baskets for shipment. That's an art all unto itself. Folks get paid big bucks to design the Martha Stewart packages. Fortunately, I can tap into friends and family for advice on that front.

Now I have perhaps the hardest part -- getting stellar photo shots of the baskets for the WineTrails website. After all, there is an art to "food porn" and those shots of wine bottles and scrumptious goodies require a skilled photographer with top end equipment. Well, in a budget-tightening move, this WineTrails dude is attempting to shoot the product shots my basement...with tripod and brilliant lights to boot.

So realistically, I won't likely have the WineTrails Gift Basket business up and running much before Christmas. It will be a sprint and it will likely happen before Santa comes down the chimney but it will be close. Maybe I should have set my sights on Valentine’s Day instead. Oh well, stay tuned. This is going to happen and I think at the end of the day, we'll add something to the Wine culture mix.

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