Woman brings wine tasting home
August 22, 2004
Lisette Smith may have found the absolute dream job for those who enjoy wine and working from home.
Smith became a consultant last November for the Traveling Vineyard based in Canton, Mass. – a line of work spawned from a hobby. She previously worked in new accounts for U.S. Bank.
“Wines have been a passion of mine for over six years,” she said, standing in her office space with a bottle of Backyard Red standing on the table.
Smith can think of no better part-time gig where she’s able to run her own business without much investment of capital and household space, stay home with her 2-year-old son, Justin, and share information with other wine lovers.
The Meyers woman takes a half-dozen wine bottles out to private parties on the South Shore – where up to 22 guests are able to taste a number of varietals from sauvignon blanc and chardonnay to merlot and Burgundy. Smith, who is paid on commission, has calculated a bottle of wine will pour for that many people in common servings.
Guests may select wines for themselves from order inquiries on which the company will follow up. There’s also an accessories catalog on hand. Bottle types range from $10 to $20 with a $6.95 shipping cost. Varietals come from the Napa Valley, Sonoma County, Hunter Valley in Australia, the Bordeaux region in France, Tuscany in Italy, plus wines of South Africa, South America, Spain and the Pacific Northwest.
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The host receives staggered discounts and a gift for putting on the party.
Smith takes people through the four aspects of the wine-tasting process – evaluate the color, determine the body, swirl and sniff as well as taste. She offers tasting notes, asking guests whether they get a peppery, oak or fruity taste out of the wine. The varietals are paired with the host-provided appetizers.
“I like it. I get to know people in town,” she said.
With almost a year under her belt, Smith said she’s pleased with the progress of the business. Winter has turned out to be the busiest time – with the closest Traveling Vineyard consultant working the Sacramento region. Tahoe’s version can be reached at (530) 577-1901.
– Susan Wood can be reached at (530) 542-8009 or via e-mail at email@example.com