RICHLAND, Wash. – A wine business book authored by a Washington State University Tri‑Cities business professor and colleagues from other parts of the country earned the award for “Best Book for Professionals” by the Gourmand International Cookbook Awards, which honors books internationally in a variety of food and beverage categories.

The book, titled “Wine Sales and Distribution: The Secrets to Building a Consultative Selling Approach,” is the first focused guide for developing personal wine-selling skills, said Byron Marlowe, WSU Tri‑Cities clinical assistant professor of hospitality and wine and beverage business management. The other two authors include Paul Wagner, founder of Balzac Communications and Marketing, and John C. Crotts, professor of hospitality and tourism management in the School of Business at the College of Charleston.

“Wine Sales and Distribution” is one of 10 books honored with the award internationally for “Books for Professionals” this year, being named best in the U.S. Publishers from more than 200 countries nominate thousands of books for the award every year.

“Step by step, we explain how to develop relationships, understand customer needs, and deliver both products and sales presentations for the wine industry in an efficient and effective way,” Marlowe said.

“Wine Sales and Distribution: The Secrets to Building a Consultative Selling Approach,” is the first focused guide for developing personal wine-selling skills, according to author Byron Marlowe.

Marlowe and his colleagues said they wanted to create a book for anyone who wishes to pursue a career in the wine industry and provide a comprehensive guide. The book specifically dives into distribution, retail sales, sommelier sales at a restaurant and working in a winery tasting room, he said.

The book comprises the authors’ more than six decades of combined research and experience in the wine business industry, drawing on a variety of interviews and interactions with effective sales professionals in the wine and broader hospitality industries.

“Many of our ideas have been incorporated into the unique consultative selling skills framework,” Marlowe said. “The strategies we outline will be invaluable to all those seeking to start or enhance a career in wine sales, built to be used like a manual for wine sales. This book will be a fantastic launching point and resource.”

Marlowe said he and his colleagues are thrilled with the recognition that the book has received. He said as Gourmand International Cookbook Awards is an annual award that honors food and wine publishing from around the world, it is an honor to be recognized among those who have received the award before him. He said they hope the book will be a great resource for not only individuals in Washington Wine Country, but across the nation and world.

Closeup of Byron Marlowe.
Byron Marlowe

Marlowe also plans to use the book in some of his wine and beverage business management courses at WSU Tri‑Cities. This fall semester, it will be used in an elective course of his design titled “Wine Sales and Entrepreneurship.”

“This book is an academic textbook in many ways, as well,” he said. “Chapter readings and conclusions include discussion questions and cases, which we will discuss within the class.”

The book is available on a variety of outlets, of which some include Rowman and Littlefield, Amazon and Google Books. The book costs $59.

Marlowe is the author of several published works on wine and beverage business management and heads the wine and beverage business management program at WSU Tri‑Cities.