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Marc Batlin is a Wine Specialist at Costco Wholesale. He has been working over there since 2016. The company is located in California.
Marc was a part of the judging panel of 2018 USA Wine Ratings. In a recent interview with UWR, he shared important thoughts on current wine trends, sommeliers' cgallenges and much more.
Marc: Nowadays more International options are coming on the market. People are embracing this change and trying out more international brands. They are accepting the fact the world makes amazing wines. People are not limited to Napa valley only. They are looking outside of it like Varietals from Spain, from France, Rosé Wines etc.
Marc: I like to explore more international wines. I like old Bordeaux, varietals from Spain and South Africa. South Africa is anyways close to my heart.
Marc: Pricing! It’s the biggest challenge nowadays. It drives the business. You don’t buy what you like; you buy what your customer likes. It’s all about customers, end users. It’s important to understand what they want and to be competitive in the market. It’s very challenging to find the right mix i.e. Quality and Right price.
Marc: Apart from Pricing which we have discussed above, Labelling is the second most important factor to me. It is the first impression. It draws and attracts people. A good labelling compels people to discover what’s inside.
Apart from pricing and packaging, I look for good quality and consistency.
Marc: It has changed a lot. Now it’s easy to find more educated people in the wine industry. People are now more open about discussing wine. It’s not only limited to Napa Valley or brands but sub varietals are also coming into the picture.
Marc: French wines, vintage and Bordeaux. Price is a big issue. French Rosé Wines are a great hit. It’s not for any particular season but all around the year.