Andrew and Toni Lampasone are the owners of Wine Watch, and the popular store is well known to wine lovers, but we recently discovered what makes this wine merchant so unique and special. But, before we go into what our New Discoveries are, we think you should know a little more about Wine Watch.
What makes Wine Watch unique is the incredible selection of wines, with over 4,000 different labels going back to 1850. They have wines from all over the world. Andrew’s favorite regions are Champagne and Barolo. Wine Watch features wines from $15 up to $27,500. If you’re curious and want know which wine is $27,500, it is the 1990 Domaine de La Romanee Conti Romanee Conti Grand Cru Burgundy.
Andrew has invested his entire career in the wine business as he fell in love with being a Sommelier at Café Maxx for many years and enjoyed introducing guests to some of his favorite recommended wines. He then joined a large wine distributor to understand that side of the business. And wine is a huge business.
Amid the COVID-19 crisis, the global market for wine was estimated at US $326.6 billion in the year 2020, and is projected to reach a revised size of US $434 billion. The wine market in the U.S. is estimated at US $88 billion in the year 2020, according to the Global Wine Industry.
When Andrew and Toni found out that Wine Watch was for sale, they purchased the company in 1998 and overtime created one of the most prestigious wine companies in the world.
Andrew will see suppliers three times a day during the week. He also does a fair amount of travel and tries to visit one new wine-producing company every year.
When we asked Andrew how Covid affected his business he said that sales have been very good, but he has not traveled since March of 2020. When Covid began shutting down he was in France visiting Champagne, Burgundy, Rhone Valley and the Languedoc. In previous years, he has been to Spain, France, Italy, Portugal, Chile, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand and, of course, California, Oregon and Washington in the United States.
Wine Watch has accumulated a loyal customer base and is active in social media. Satisfied customers provide a strong word-of-mouth referral and new customer base, and when that Is combined with thousands of followers on Instagram and over four thousand videos on YouTube with their live virtual wine tastings on the Instagram live channel they have a robust customer base.
They also host wine tastings at their wine bar Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights featuring some of the world’s greatest wines. Events range from $200 per person to $5000 per person. Private events are also available with a minimum spend of $3,000. These events do not charge corkage fees and charge the retail price of the wines offered.
If you ask Andrew how they compare to wine clubs, he will say “we don’t offer a wine club, we actually hate wine clubs because they will sell you wines you do not like. We test all the wines we promote and send emails to our client base that are Wine Watch approved. We also want to know our customers and what wines they like or love so they can decide which wines they would like to try. Customers can also come to our various wine tastings to explore new options to try.”
As wine lovers, your Light writers are interested in providing various options for readers to explore new wines and are also interested in custom wine dinners for private gatherings. Our palettes are not as sophisticated as the Wine Watch team, but we think “New Discoveries” are on our horizons and hope we can entice family and friends to invite us to join in the journey. Wine Watch is conveniently located in Ft. Lauderdale in its own building with parking.
In our interview with Wine Watch, we had some basic questions we wanted to ask the experts. Here they are: