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How to Become a Wine Merchant

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Whether you have a passion for wine or are just looking for an excellent investment opportunity, becoming a wine merchant is the perfect opportunity.

For starters, find a piece of property from which to do business. Strip malls and traditional retail locations are often excellent spots for wine merchants. Purchasing the property is not necessary; leasing it is perfectly acceptable. Contact a local real estate agent to find the right property for your business.

Apply to your local jurisdiction to obtain a license to sell alcohol. The licensing agency may require you take a short course (two to three hours) educating you about denying alcohol to minors.

Once you license is approved, you will need to obtain contracts with distributors to supply you with wine inventory. Distributors are plentiful; be sure to shop around for the best contract terms. Some resources for wine distributors can be found below.

After obtaining a supply contract with a wine distributor, you will need to begin stocking your storefront with retail equipment. At a minimum you'll need cash registers, cases and racks (to store wine), and retail counters.

Have a custom sign made for your business that displays your logo, slogan, address and telephone number. This is important because consumers need to be able to recognize the type of establishment your business is at first glance.

Once the above steps are completed, it is time for your grand opening sale. Try placing a promotional ad in local newspapers to attract consumer interest.


Decor to promote a relaxed environment is recommended for wine stores. Try to decorate your storefront with warm colors to entice consumers and make them feel more comfortable.


Attempting to sell alcohol without a license carries a hefty penalty. Make sure you obtain your alcohol license before opening for business.


Leonardo R. Grabkowski has been writing professionally for more than four years. Grabkowski attended college in Oregon. He builds websites on the side and has a slight obsession with Drupal, Joomla and Wordpress.