10 medium intensity questions with Dennis Carroll, Head Hooligan at Wine Hooligans, a group of California winemakers and aficionados dedicated to promoting artisanality and authenticity. Get to know Dennis better with this fun Q & A.
Disclaimer: this rant will only be meaningful to industry insiders. However, it’s one of the best examples of why selling wine in the United States is one of the strangest, most archaic, socially awkward, humiliating and straight up funny experiences anyone can have while trying to build a wine brand.
If you travel around the U.S. enough, everything starts to look the same: same stores, restaurants and hotels. Same everything. You could call it the McDonalds/Starbucks effect. Sure, it can be comforting to have a familiar store to shop at while traveling, but my travels afford me a bit of a different perspective.
Wine Hooligans is my fourth and final (I promised my wife) start up business venture. Two were successes, one was a bomb and we will see what happens with Hooligans. Hopefully I will be batting .750 by the end of Hooligans and not .500. Start-ups have a strange addictive quality to them that brings people back time and time again. Intellectually, it makes no sense to keep coming back....
Most people outside (and some inside) the wine business have a romanticized view of what this business is all about. Most things look different when you are an audience member. Once you go behind the curtain, you can become extremely disillusioned by what you see. So if you love wine… STOP READING NOW! KEEP BELIEVING IN UNICORNS! However, if you want to look behind the curtain… come on backstage.