Airing between common episodes of the VinePair Podcast, “Next Spherical” explores the concepts and improvements which can be serving to drinks companies adapt in a time of unprecedented change. Because the coronavirus crisis continues and new challenges come up, VP Professional is in your nook, supporting the drinks group for all of the rounds to return. If in case you have a narrative or perspective to share, electronic mail us at email@example.com.
On this “Next Spherical” episode, host Adam Teeter discusses the brand new canned wine model Nomadica with one among its co-founders Kristin Olszewski. The 2 spotlight Nomadica’s packaging and the way the model makes use of artworks because the “doorway” to excite its clients, welcoming them into what are sometimes sophisticated conversations about wine. Olszewski emphasizes that whereas canned wine gives a specific comfort — for throwing a can in your purse or having fun with a sparkler on the seashore — she at all times takes delight within the “juice” Nomadica makes use of.
Nomadica has paired with a number of small wineries to create limited-edition releases and sources all of its wines from producers Olszewski swears by. As a educated sommelier with over a decade of expertise within the area, she proudly markets Nomadica as sommelier-curated canned wine, and hopes the model can change customers’ minds in regards to the bottle-versus-can debate.
Nomadica’s present lineup contains two glowing wines, a nonetheless rosé, and a purple. Pay attention or learn under as Olszewski discusses her preliminary skepticism of canned wine, how she constructed the model, and her hopes for Nomadica’s future.
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Or Examine Out the Dialog Beneath
Adam: From Brooklyn, New York I’m Adam Teeter. And this can be a VinePair “Next Spherical” dialog. As you guys know, we’re bringing you these conversations between the common podcast episodes so as to give everybody a greater image of what’s going on within the alcohol beverage trade. At this time, I’m actually fortunate to be speaking with Kristen Olszewski, the chief beverage officer and founding father of Nomadica Wine. Kristen, what’s going on?
Kristen: Hello, Adam. I’m so excited to be right here with you right now.
A: Thanks a lot for becoming a member of me. I hope I didn’t butcher your final identify.
Okay: That was truly excellent pronunciation.
A: So you’re primarily based in L.A., proper? And a former sommelier, who now has a canned wine enterprise?
Okay: Sure, from Barolo to canned wine. I adore it.
A: So are you able to inform me slightly bit about Nomadica, after which we’ll get into your profession and the way you got here to start out it within the first place, however give me the “What’s Nomadica wine” pitch.
Okay: OK, so Nomadica is sommelier-curated canned wine. After all, I’m the sommelier curating the wine. After which anybody who takes a have a look at our cans at all times remarks on how stunning they’re. We work with artists in order that the artwork on the can works as the primary tasting be aware for the wine inside.
A: Oh, fascinating. So I received to inform you, actually I’m not kissing your a** right here. I simply noticed your cans a number of years in the past they usually had been introduced into my workplace and I used to be like, “Wow, that is the primary canned wine model that I assumed was understanding what craft beer had gotten proper,” if that is smart. Craft beer’s branding has been so good, particularly on the can and that’s what customers love. And I noticed numerous canned wine manufacturers popping out previous to assembly you that seemed rather a lot like this might have been designed by Anheuser-Busch, proper? It was very “Bud Gentle,” but it surely was a rosé. And so I used to be like, wow, how is that this the model? As a result of on the time, I didn’t know you, and we’re simply assembly for the primary time, to be honest to everybody listening. I’m simply enthusiastic about it. I used to be like, how has it taken anybody else this lengthy in wine to determine this shit out? Simply because it’s in a can doesn’t imply it shouldn’t be fantastically designed and one thing that you just wish to pull out and other people will ask you within the park, what are you ingesting? That’s been what craft beer has gotten proper for therefore a few years now, whether or not it’s L.A. breweries that I’m much less accustomed to than the New York Metropolis ones, the Other Halfs and the KCBCs. And if you happen to hearken to this podcast, you hear me speaking about these breweries rather a lot whose labels simply look dope. I used to be blown away that you just had been the primary one I noticed to try this. So this can be a very roundabout manner of me asking you about your wine model and what your determination to create a wine model was within the first place. As a result of previous to this, you had been at a restaurant group, you had been a working somm, so why a canned wine model?
Okay: Nicely, it was a loopy journey. I received launched to my co-founder via a mutual buddy. He truly comes from the New York restaurant scene, and he was like, “Hey, I met this woman. She needs to start out a wine firm. You need to communicate together with her.” As you realize, I’ve spent my complete profession working in Michelin and wine-focused eating places and am actually obsessive about wine. So I am going meet her after working on the ground at Mozza, I present up in my girl swimsuit in my favourite pure wine bar in Los Angeles, shout out to Tabula Rasa. And Emma tells me that she’s been pouring good wine into Pellegrino cans to take by the pool or on actually lengthy Uber rides in Los Angeles. And at first I used to be like, “Ugh, canned wine?” To be sincere, I’d solely had dangerous experiences with canned wine. It’s not one thing I considered myself as ever ingesting or ever having any curiosity in. However Emma is famously cussed and stalked my Instagram, discovered a winemaker she knew I actually appreciated on the Central Coast, Josh Klapper from La Fenetre at Timbre, who labored at Avant Cremant for some time. She canned a small batch of his Pinot Noir and introduced it again to me to style. And I let it sit in my cupboard for 2 months. I’ll be sincere, I opened it up one evening after I didn’t really feel like opening up a bottle. And I had this realization that canned wine wasn’t dangerous. Individuals had been simply placing dangerous wine in cans. And naturally, I believe the market has modified now. There are some superb gamers within the canned wine house, and I couldn’t be extra enthusiastic about sharing this house with some actually nice winemakers, however Nomadica was born. And so we determined to make use of artists as our labels as a result of I’m positive anybody who works the ground will perceive this. You spend all evening speaking to folks, and possibly 10 to 15 % of the folks you communicate with even have language to explain what they like in wine, proper? They perceive what physique means, what tannin is, or speak about acid ranges, what unstable acidity is, et cetera. However most individuals you need to use unconventional codecs to explain taste profiles and tastes. I bear in mind one time describing Poggio di Sotto Brunello di Montalcino to a visitor as God strolling down your throat in velvet slippers. And he’s like “Yeah, I need that. I need that wine.” So we thought it will be actually enjoyable to be actually playful with that and play on the thought of synesthesia right here, and I believe we do a terrific job and we’ve truly simply employed a artistic director the final couple of months who’s immensely gifted. And I can’t wait to disclose our new lineup of can artwork popping out subsequent yr.
A: That’s tremendous cool. So when Emma introduced you this concept, you had been like “OK, let me determine this out. I’ll give it some thought.” How lengthy did it take you from interested by it, to saying, “OK, screw it. I’m quitting my job. I’m doing this full-time?” What was the method? What did you undergo to do that?
Okay: Nicely, I labored two jobs for a really very long time. I’m positive anybody who began their very own enterprise is aware of the hustle is actual. So I’d spend all day working on Nomadica after which I’d spend all evening at Osteria Mozza, slinging Barolo and Brunello and all of the enjoyable Italian wines. And we had been capable of increase slightly bit of cash final yr, and I used to be capable of go full-time, and I can’t even inform you how thrilling it was — and nonetheless is — to work for myself. It’s loopy.
A: Superior. Yeah. It’s completely nice, proper? It’s this factor that you just simply lastly take the leap and also you do it, and it’s nuts. So you’ve this canned wine model. You lastly received it on your individual. What’s your objective for this model? Or clearly you mentioned that it’s about placing good wine in cans, however what does that truly imply to you? And will you set Barolo in a can? Are you aware what I’m saying? I’ve heard some folks be like, “Oh, there’s solely sure sorts of wine that you just’d put in cans.” So what does it imply for you when it comes to the wine you set right into a can?
Okay: Nicely, we supply wine particularly for the can, and I do suppose that is the place my decade-plus in wine actually does turn out to be useful. We don’t simply put any juice within the can. I’ll most likely by no means put Barolo in a can. I do suppose it must age in a bottle, however sure varietals like our present purple, a Sangiovese mix with slightly little bit of outdated vines and vanilla and Grenache. It’s poppy. It’s brilliant. It doesn’t have tannin, it’s high-acid. It’s crushable. In order that’s sort of the place we’re heading right here. After which we have a core lineup of wines. Two sparklings (a white and a rosé), a nonetheless rosé, and a purple. We’re including a nonetheless white to that lineup subsequent yr. After which we’re additionally doing a little actually enjoyable restricted editions that we’re simply going to drop on-line, small boutique issues. We’re doing a collab with Stolpman Vineyards. We’re doing a carbonic Syrah with them. After which Mike from Rootdown and Cole Ranch, and SLK wines made an incredible Piquette with some 70-year-old Riesling from his single winery.
A: OK. I get it, although, I get it. So mainly the entire thought is it’s wines which can be drinkable now, proper? We’re not getting old something on this. Are you the individual that’s ingesting from the can, or do you count on the buyer to pour into the glass?
Okay: So I at all times say wine tastes higher from a glass, and nobody will ever get me to vary my thoughts on that. There are some circumstances the place you’re on a hike, you’re on the seashore, you’re sneaking a can into your purse to have with an In-N-Out burger. I don’t know for a reality, I’ve by no means accomplished this myself, in fact — I’d by no means — however typically you simply drink out of the can for comfort. One other factor I actually like in regards to the cans, and I believe one of many particular issues about what we do at Nomadica is we have now nothing to cover. I encourage everybody to drink it out of a glass. And due to that, we’ve seen — we’ve accomplished numerous surveys with our clients, they usually’re wine drinkers. They’re slightly older, they’re of their 30s sometimes, they usually’re selecting us as a result of they don’t wish to open a whole bottle.
A: Oh, fascinating. So, right here’s what I’m interested in. I used to be going to ask this query, you kind of answered it for me, but it surely’s who does dump it right into a glass? As a result of we began, and in all equity, we’ve by no means had your wine submitted for the tasting, we began two years in the past a giant open name for canned wines. As a result of there’s so many now, proper? Canned wines had been submitted to us and really our tastings director mainly the primary yr was like, we have now to cease pouring the wines right into a glass. And so we don’t, if anybody else who listens has submitted to us earlier than, you’re now studying, it’s the one tasting the place we don’t pour the wines into the glass, as a result of after we surveyed our workers after which readership, most mentioned they drank it from the can. And so we had been like, properly, as a result of numerous instances while you pour it into the glass, particularly with a few of these canned wines, you get that bizarre sulfur odor initially. And so we had been like properly, nobody is definitely going to get that as a result of they’re ingesting it from the can. They’re consuming it in the best way they might devour a seltzer or the best way they might devour White Claws, however yeah, the best way they might devour a seltzer or a beer, that’s that format we’ve been conditioned. We drink from it. We don’t pour right into a glass. So I, that’s why I used to be curious to ask you, simply because I ponder, then, if you consider what sort of wine goes into the can, figuring out that it’s not going to be examined or it received’t aerate?
Okay: Sure, completely. So after I’m choosing wines, I at all times have a number of cans, and I style it out of the can and since I don’t wish to management how anybody drinks it. I need it to be superb in each single state of affairs.
A: It’s humorous, there’s a restaurant close to me in Brooklyn that sells Nomadica, however how have you ever expanded? What has that been like? So that you clearly stop your job. You’ve raised slightly bit of cash. You’re now out on this planet. What has your progress trajectory seemed like? Or what are your plans for progress? How is that working?
Okay: So we’ve truly been actually fortunate in a fairly terrible yr — let’s be sincere — to actually dangle on, and over half of our enterprise is in on-premise, which persons are at all times stunned by. I imply, I used to be stunned by that. I believe after we first began Nomadica, I used to be like, “Oh, that is simply gonna be retail. That is simply going to be retail,” however we’ve seen a large uptick from luxurious lodges and grab-and-go packages. I’m positive that restaurant in Brooklyn is a kind of.
A: It’s like slightly falafel store.
Okay: Oh, Holy Pita! I really like that place.
A: That’s so humorous that you realize which one it’s!
Okay: After all I do. After all I do. I’ve a really hands-on strategy with our nationwide gross sales workplace, and I believe as a result of the wine world and the beverage world is admittedly small and I’ve to simply actually shout out our companions. In the beginning of this, we went to folks and we’re like, “OK, this sucks for everybody.” I’ve labored in eating places mainly my complete life. And I’m nervous about the way forward for eating places. I believe all of us are. And so we went to numerous our companions and simply requested how we may also help them, how we may be there for them. So we’ve accomplished a bunch of Zoom tastings, digital workers trainings. We’ve accomplished numerous charitable partnerships. And I believe our relationship with our companions is best than ever. And fortunately, the trade is so small, we’ve additionally felt that love again in the direction of us in numerous methods.
A: Proper. So is a part of the plan for this to be a DTC model? So clearly, on the site, proper, you may order, you’ve the wine store. Was that a part of the marketing strategy to start with the place you’ll be capable of ship folks the wines they love on a subscription foundation or is that since Covid?
Okay: Nicely, that’s positively a re-pivot since Covid. We had at all times deliberate on launching some e-comm enterprise as wholesale. We love our wholesale companions. We’re by no means going to take our foot off the gasoline of that, however e-commerce permits us to do these limited-edition collaborations and permits us the chance to speak to our clients, which I really like. I miss the ground a lot. I can’t even inform you. I simply love speaking to folks about wine. It’s a sick obsession. I’m positive you perceive. And so we truly simply expanded, we’re going to have the ability to ship to 48 states in January, we’re launching a subscription service known as “Club Nomadica.” You’ll be able to both order month-to-month or subscribe quarterly, and we’re doing a little actually enjoyable, thrilling issues subsequent yr.
A: So are you able to inform us any of these issues?
Okay: So I’m so enthusiastic about this. We’re providing this as much as all of our Membership Nomadica clients, they get 24-7 entry to me for all of their wine questions. It’s known as “Textual content a Somm.” And so we’ve been beta testing it. And this happened as a result of I get most likely a minimum of 10 texts per week from mates or household. Both it’s a photograph of a wine listing, “What’s the most cost effective, finest wine I can drink?” Or “I’m on the grocery retailer. What do I get?” And so we had been like, wouldn’t this be nice if we supplied this as much as our clients and our early adopters. And we’ve been beta testing it. Individuals adore it.
A: Yeah. I’ll say simply full disclosure, no relation to the VinePair Text a Somm program. Completely totally different.
Okay: Completely various things.
A: However yeah, no, I believe that’s tremendous cool. I imply, clearly, yeah. I’m joking, however we did do “Text a Somm” this summer time to offer working somms a shift, mainly. And we noticed how many individuals texted in who’ve simply random questions for wine professionals they usually actually wish to know stuff. So clearly we’re by no means going to make this full-time. I believe it’s tremendous cool that you just’re doing it like this. I believe you’re additionally insane to be obtainable 24-7. However I imply, it’s nonetheless a younger firm, so I really feel that’s when you’ve the power be like “Yeah, s***. I’ll do it. 3:00 a.m. I don’t care.” So I dig that. So I’ve to ask you a query that’s not in regards to the wine. Then we’ll get again to the wine, however we’re going to be going all over right here. I did take a look at your LinkedIn and it seems to be like you considered going to medical college.
Okay: Sure. Oh my goodness.
A: So, the place did that change for you? Clearly you went again, you had accomplished undergrad, you then went again to that post-bacc to go to medical college. The place did you fall in love with wine in that journey and say, “You realize what, screw being a surgeon, I’m gonna finally personal a canned wine model.”
Okay: So I majored in sustainable agriculture, moved to San Francisco, cooked for slightly bit, labored at some actually superb eating places, entrance of home, met Carlin Carr, who’s now the wine director for the Frasca group. She was so beneficiant with pours. I can not even inform you, and I sort of began to get the bug for wine there, however for a slew of causes determined that “No, I ought to be a physician. I ought to go show to people who I’m actually good.” And so I went and did my pre-med post-bacc at Harvard. I’m initially from Massachusetts, so it was simply transferring again house for me, basically. And all through this time I used to be spending my summers working on Nantucket at Straight Wharf Restaurant, which truly has an unimaginable Bordeaux and Burgundy cellar. The restaurant has been round because the ’70s. Julia Baby was truly the opening chef there. I do know, so, so cool. And my final yr, and right here’s after I actually began to get uncovered to nice wine. And there’s very beneficiant friends. I had the chance to style issues that I may by no means in one million years afford to purchase. After which in my final yr of faculty, I’m taking my MCAT, making use of for med college, I get in and that’s that, I’m going to med college. I’m going to be a physician. And I meet this girl, Felicia Foster, who was operating the small wine bar in Somerville, which is true outdoors of Boston, known as Spoke Wine Bar. And she or he simply mentored me, invited me to style together with her, you realize while you first begin out in wine and also you’re tasting issues and simply don’t have the boldness to call flavors, to speak in regards to the wine. She simply inspired me, and uncovered me to Piedmont and Austria and Germany and all these wines that I simply had no thought about, and she or he simply actually inspired me to go away college as a result of I used to be fairly depressing. I’ll be sincere. And I really like wine and I simply took the leap and by no means seemed again.
A: That’s nice. That’s superior. So again to the wine. So clearly the corporate is just a few years outdated. What are your targets for Nomadica? Would you wish to finally develop it to a degree the place it’s purchased by a bigger wine firm? Would you wish to personal it perpetually? Would you wish to finally use the label to broaden into bottles or different issues? I’m curious, what’s your imaginative and prescient for the model? As of proper now as we’re closing out 2020 transferring into 2021.
Okay: I actually do need Nomadica to be in every single place. I believe we’ve all had the expertise in our life, whether or not it’s we go to a sports activities sport or a movie show and also you drink beer as a result of there’s not a wine that you’d drink. And I actually do suppose Nomadica solves that drawback. And to be fairly sincere, we’re simply so targeted on constructing this factor and making it as nice because it presumably may be that if we probably get purchased out, we’ll cross that bridge after we get to it. We’re simply attempting to make our product as nice as may be and do some actually enjoyable issues whereas we’re at it.
A: So that you deliver up a extremely nice query and possibly one thing that some individuals who hearken to the VinePair podcasts at all times have, which is how do you get into these sorts of locations? How do you get into the sports activities arenas or the film theaters or the Holy Pitas of the world? And what I imply by that’s I believe that your worth proposition is admittedly nice. I really like the cans. I believe the juice contained in the can is completely stellar. And I get the advertising and marketing positioning of sommelier-curated wines. However the locations that I believe the place you discover the preliminary clients is the place you’re speaking about, proper? The locations the place I want there was a very good glass of wine, however I don’t have it. And for essentially the most half at these locations, the individual doing the shopping for might not know the distinction between Nomadica or be capable of respect the variations between Nomadica and that canned wine model from Oregon or that canned wine model from — to not decide on them — that canned wine model from Northern California or one thing else from even New York state, proper? How do you clarify to them that that is the canned wine model they need to have for the entire causes that I perceive they need to have it, the standard, the higher design, all that stuff. Is it simply that they see the package deal they usually get it? What’s your technique there?
Okay: The packaging positively is the door opener, however our technique is admittedly simply, I can’t even inform you how nice I’ve gotten at rejection the previous couple of years. I bear in mind beginning this journey and pondering I’m nice at gross sales. I promote wine on the ground each evening, I can promote a lot wine, and I actually didn’t notice the way you simply need to continually take it on the chin and maintain going. And that’s mainly my technique. So I by no means actually take no for a solution as a result of I do suppose that there’s at all times a chance to revisit. And that our gross sales have positively proven that to be true. And possibly it’s not at all times a “no,” possibly it’s a “not now.” And also you simply relentlessly observe up. You leverage your community. I stalk consumers, I’ve realized how creepy I’m. And we’ve additionally been actually fortunate. I lately introduced on Terra Hannaford as my COO, and she or he was the VP of gross sales from Casamigos and simply what a distinction she’s made within the firm. And she or he has taught me a lot about leverage and handle our distribution community, which was not previously a talent of mine coming from the fine-dining wine world, and speak to retailers, use every thing out of your buddy that you just knew in seventh grade who possibly has a cousin that owns a wine store. You bought to actually join with folks. And so I believe it’s been working fairly properly.
A: That’s superior. So I really feel like at this level I’ve a extremely good image of the enterprise. Do you propose to lift extra money? What are your targets? As a result of like I mentioned, the cool packages you’ve coming are “Textual content a Somm” et cetera. What are your targets when you consider the place you’d wish to be on the finish of 2021?
Okay: Yeah, properly we’ll increase some extra money. We’ve received some thrilling improvements on the best way that you may be one of many first folks to find out about, I promise. I’m so enthusiastic about that for 2021. And simply numerous actually modern programming, and you realize issues take cash, sadly. And I wish to be in every single place within the U.S.
A: Kristen, this was actually superior to speak to you and get to know the enterprise, the place you’re headed. Like I mentioned, I actually suppose that the product is superior. After I got here involved with it two years in the past, I assumed it was nice. After which to be honest, I see a lot stuff that it handed my thoughts. And after I received emailed about it once more a number of weeks in the past, I used to be like, “Oh man, sure, I completely wish to have this dialog” as a result of I believe you actually appear to get it in a manner that I believe numerous different people who find themselves attempting to do the canned wine factor simply are lacking, proper? I’m not telling you to make, as I mentioned earlier, the subsequent “Bud Gentle.” I’m telling you to make the factor that I additionally would like to have out on my desk or to be seen with within the park. That’s what I need. And I really feel you’re delivering that, and it’s simply superior.
Okay: Thanks, Adam. That’s so good.
A: So in any case, all the most effective in 2021 and with Nomadica. I’ll positively maintain watching, and I’ll positively drink it after I go to Holy Pita.
Okay: Shout Out to Holy Pita!
A: Shout out to Holy Pita. Discuss to you quickly.
Okay: Bye, Adam. Thanks.
Thanks a lot for listening to the VinePair Podcast. Should you get pleasure from listening to us each week, please depart us a evaluation or ranking on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify, or wherever it’s that you just get your podcasts. It actually helps everybody else uncover the present. Now, for the credit. VinePair is produced and hosted by Zach Geballe and me, Adam Teeter. Our engineer is Nick Patri and Keith Beavers. I’d additionally like to offer a particular shout-out to my VinePair co-founder Josh Malin and the remainder of the VinePair group for his or her help. Thanks a lot for listening, and we’ll see you once more proper right here subsequent week.
Ed. be aware: This episode has been edited for size and readability