Recommending Wine to Your Preference, Not Ours – WineJug

Aug 25, 2020 | Entrepreneurs, Positively West Virginia, Retail

John Obrist is the owner of WineJug in Weirton, West Virginia. WineJug is a wine specialty retail store and online company designed to offer incredible wine across a spectrum of price ranges. Since John and his team try to taste many of the wines they sell personally, the descriptions and tasting notes are based on their honest evaluations of the wine instead of the copy and paste regurgitations you will find on other websites.  

Obrist talked with Jim Matuga, host of the Positively West Virginia Podcast, about his new business, the growth it has had these past few months and his recommendations on wines you should try.

What is your 30-second pitch for Winejug?

“As a small business, I think we offer a value proposition that others cannot. We try to understand what customers like in terms of wine. Often I have people come to me, and I ask them what their favorite wine is, but they usually say I am embarrassed to tell you that I only like sweet wine. There is an incredible array of great wines that are sweet or dry and we work so hard to understand customers’ needs to tailor our offerings or our recommendations to exactly what they like,” said Obrist.

What are you most excited about right now for WineJug?

“We have grown every month since opening; the growth has been consistent. I would say that what is most exciting for me is when customers say something like John; you know what I like – send me three bottles. I say that because there is a deeper meaning to that simple statement, that means that somewhere along the line of our discussion, I have earned their trust through the customer service and customer focus I have,” said Obrist.

Which wines are your personal favorites?

“That varies quite a bit, but based on where I am in my studies, I am continuing to pursue my certification for the Wine and Spirit Trust out of London via The American Wine School out of Cleveland. I love a good Pinot Noir from Burgundy or Oregan or Cava from Spain. My family loves the acidic whites such as Albarino or a New Zealand Savion Blanc,” Obrist recommended.

Can you talk about some wines that are really good in the $20 price point?

“The $20 price point originated from the lifestyle that my friends and I buy, so we wanted to find a way to take that knowledge that we have developed and push it out into WineJug,” said Obrist.

As a small business, WineJug offers a personal touch that other companies do not have. WineJug is passionate about satisfying every customer; they promote other small businesses, care about what you think and help you enjoy delicious wine.

John received his Bachelor of Science from Ithaca College and his Masters of Business Administration from Penn State University. He has been married for twenty-nine years and has four kids (ages 20, 19, 19, and 16), three of whom are in college right now!

Obrist was a guest on the Positively West Virginia Podcast. Listen to his full podcast here.


RECOMMENDED BOOK: Accidental Courage by Joe Kita

RECOMMENDED RESOURCE: The personal network of people

PIECE OF ADVICE: “Do not underestimate the value of the information you can derive from the data because only with good data can you make good decisions,” advised Obrist.

This article was written by the InnerAction Media staff.

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