Once a month we profile people we work with, so that you can get to know us better. This month we have interviewed Freya Reinsch from one of our trusted suppliers, Alliance Wines. For more information about their services, visit their website www.alliancewine.com.
How long has your business been going and what do you offer?
Alliance Wine has been around for 34 years now, supplying wine to the licensed trade. We are the only fully independent specialist wine importer based in Scotland. We just do wine – nothing else!
What do you love about your job?
The diverse and interesting businesses I get to work with are really motivating. No two days are alike, and everyone’s wine needs are different. We specialise in working with the independent restaurant sector, which puts you at the heart of someone’s offering and very close to the owners. The relationships are all unique and you really become a core part of the picture and I feel very close to a number of places I work with. The internal company culture is also great – we’re all here because we love what we do and can’t imagine doing much else!
What is your best tip for those who want to enter your field?
Get a job in a good wine shop or wine bar and taste as much as you can for a start. There is no direct path to this job – no particular degree you can study as such. You need a lot of passion for wine, a head for business and a genuine, outgoing personality. A thick skin doesn’t hurt either as sales can be pretty tough! If you feel comfortable around a lot of different kinds of people, love working with wine and have a good head for strategy and figures it’s a great field to work in. People in the trade come from all sorts of backgrounds, not just one particular source. I for one am an escaped academic!
What is the most memorable event you’ve worked on?
The Edinburgh Festival is always the most exciting time of year and the Hub, as host of the International Festival, has world class programming. I’m quite proud to see our wines poured at some of these performances.
What are your tips for a successful event?
A simple wine can do a decent job of watering a crowd, but memorable wine doesn’t cost much more and is worth the extra bit of cash for something more personal and tailored to the occasion. Especially if food is involved! Also consider a good Cava over Prosecco if you’re having a drinks reception or a toast. It’s made the same way as Champagne, so it holds its fizz for much longer and can see you through a longer event.
What’s your favourite room at The Hub?
The Dunard Library – I love its classy intimacy.
For whom would you most like to organise an event?
If Annie Clark needs some wines backstage this August please call me, I will even deliver in person. Beyond that, I think I will leave the full organising to the professionals! I understand my little part of the picture, but there’s so much more to an event than what people are drinking (even though it’s a very important part).
What tune gets the most people dancing?
Get Lucky by Daft Punk or My Number by the Foals.
What’s your favourite place in Edinburgh?
The Botanic Gardens.
What advice would you give your twenty year old self?
Don’t get an iPhone!