How To Import Your Own Wine

By / Magazine / September 16th, 2011 / 1

Ever thought about getting into the glamorous biz of being a wine (or spirits or beer) agent? Trips abroad to seek out undiscovered vinous treasures (and being able to write off the air fare as a “business expense”). Wine-ing and dining with proprietors of exclusive domains (and being able to write off dinner as a “business expense”). Bringing your new discoveries into Canada (and writing off the cost of advertising, public relations and marketing as a “business expense”) and ultimately seeing “your baby” on the shelf of the local booze shop. Yep, it all sounds pretty sweet.

But before you quit your current day job you might want to dial-in a reality check. This is where Steven Trenholme comes in.

A veteran of the wine importing game (okay, only provincial liquor boards are technically able to “import”, but he’ll explain all that), Trenholme has been staging a series of well-attended seminars called “Importing Wine For Pleasure And Profit” in various locals in Ontario (though primarily geared towards import wannabes from this province, his advice can be extrapolated to cover most Canadian jurisdictions) for some time now.

His informed and entertaining lectures (don’t worry, they are hardly boring) step neophytes though the various and sundry realities of dealing with suppliers, liquor boards and other “regulators” (read, the things that come between you and the big payoff).

Always down-to-earth, Trenholme notes that importing wine can be both pleasurable and profitable (talk to the wine importer who brought the Fuzion line to Ontario). Or not. In any case, after completing his seminar you will be much more able to decide whether this particular road is indeed one you’d wish to navigate.

Not without a sense of humour, Trenholme, when asked how long he’d been in the wine business, responded thusly: “I have been in the wine industry for 33 years. I had hoped to get out sooner. In hindsight, I should not have hired a lawyer that I found on Craigslist.”

Just a taste of what you can look forward to.

Trenholme’s next seminars are slated for Saturday November 19th in Ottawa and Saturday November 26th in Toronto (9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m). For further details, drop a note to [email protected]

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Looking at the small things that make life great and the people who create them.

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