I’ve always been intrigued by the business model of purchasing a wine via nothing but a compelling text-only email that prompts to you open your wallet. Are you on any mailing lists like this? The most famous would be Garagiste, located here in Seattle. Another online wine business (going four-plus years strong) also with a Seattle HQ? Full Pull Wines.
I got the chance to speak with Owner Paul Zitarelli about what it’s like to start a business like that (possibly scary?), how he chooses wines (thoughtfully), what it takes to convince people to branch out (powers of persuasion), and more on my Wine Without Worry podcast.
And in a public service announcement, I have finally created a Facebook page to act as a home to all my blogging, podcasting, short musings, and bonus photos. I would love a “Like” from you. Here’s a link:
Now back to the program preview. Hey, would you look at this village? Guess what happened while Paul was hiking above the charming town of St. Etienne de Tinee in the French Alps? He, in consult with and supported by his wife (smart man), made the decision to go forth with Full Pull Wines. In these “sylvan glades” (thanks, HOGSALT), a momentous, life-changing event took place. I wish I was in some sylvan glades when I had to make a big decision. Rather than scrawling the pluses and minuses of an opportunity on a bar napkin in some dive. (Dear dive bars: I kid. Love ya.)
I’d also like to thank the good folks at Bottlehouse in Seattle for hosting this episode’s taping. If you haven’t been there, it’s jam-packed with genuine charm. And you’ll find me there Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. During our conversation, Paul enjoyed a most excellent, bone-dry Spanish Cava. And I had a white wine from Southwest France that is in my Wine Hall of Fame, ruling the under $15 category/wing of the building. (My wine HOF is a big place.) I love it. Proof. (Full name of the Cava: 2008 Juvé y Camps Reserva de la Familia. My HOF white: 2012 Domaine des Cassagnoles Gros Manseng.)
So what else did we talk about? Behold:
- The first wine he offered on October 5th, 2009. (Hint: involves gnomes.)
- Which wine grapes sound sexy.
- Paul’s foray from exclusively Washington wine offers to branching out into Oregon wine, and, ultimately, settting a course that included European wines.
- Planting your wine freak flag, flying it high.
- How Full Pull got its name. (Surprisingly, did not involve a cork.)
- An overabundance of Halloween candy.
- The J. Peterman catalog.
- My inability to say “prognosticate” after drinking a half glass of wine.
And on that note, listen up. Also, subscribe to the podcast on iTunes.