10 of the best jobs in drinks and how to get them

Independent retailer

Name: Melanie Brown, founder of The New Zealand Cellar in Pop Brixton

What route did you take to your current role?

After trying to be a hard-ass chef for many years, I developed an unhealthy obsession with the intricacies of NZ wine, the breadth of the industry and the people behind the wines. So naturally, my world engineered its way to creating a platform that honoured the New Zealand wine industry.

What’s an average day look like?

What is an average day?! I’m usually up around 5am, getting ahead of my day before my daughter wakes. After school run I catch up with the guys in the office, discuss our promotions and social and then head to our store/bar in Brixton to set up. There will be accounts, payments, payroll, by the glass selections to sign off on before my store Manager starts later in the day, and thats when I head back to the office. I usually spend evenings catching up on more work as I am lucky enough to have a few hours with my daughter in the afternoon. Once a week the team and I will taste through new wines, or samples, and I try to provide some in depth training so they are on the ball in the store, further extending our NZ wine conversation as much as we can.

What’s the best thing about your job?

Everything except cleaning the glass washer. But mostly our ability to showcase the incredible people and wines that ensure NZ’s reputation as a premium wine producing country.There is a sincerity and authenticity to the wines and people of our collection, and this makes me incredibly happy, which in turns happens to be the best thing about my job!

And the worst? 

Cleaning the glass washer.

What’s your best piece of advice to someone looking to land a job in your field?

The wine world is full of experiences, full of personality and full of amazing humans. No one day is ever the same, nor is each wine. Ensure your passion is your focus, understand your niche and don’t expect to become a millionaire.

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