Top 50 most powerful women in wine: 10-119th December, 2012 by Lucy Shaw
3. ANNETTE ALVAREZ-PETERS
Her post as the director of wine buying for US retailer Costco makes Alvarez-Peters one of the most powerful wine buyers in the world, responsible for influencing hundreds of thousands of consumer palates.
Costco is the largest US importer of French fine wines and the fifth largest retailer in the US. In charge of over US$1bn in wine sales a year, including fine wines such as Château Mouton Rothschild and Pétrus, this May Alvarez-Peters caused a storm in a wine glass when she declared that wine was “just a beverage” and “no different than toilet paper.”
Heading up a team of 17 international and domestic wine buyers, the prices she sets affect most of the US’s small wine retailers. Last month, Alvarez-Peters, who is studying for her MW, launched Costco.co.uk, selling high-end wines such as Krug, Dom Pérignon, Cristal and Pontet-Canet to UK consumers with no delivery charge.