This year I am working on an initiative to add voices to Snooth. For years we've been working with other wine writers, sharing our audience with them because we feel that having multiple voices speaking articulately about a subject is always preferable to a lone voice. I've been hoping to branch out into the retail side of things as our next step.

In case you hadn't noticed I am a big fan of the consumer-retailer relationship. There is no better ally for the consumer than a well informed, interested and engaged retailer. No one can learn your preferences more accurately or give you better advice. The problem though is that the great retailers are not easy to find. I was hoping to change that I sent out a letter to select retailers inviting them to participate in a program where I feature their recommendations in Snooth newsletters much like I've begun to do with my writing colleagues.

I offered them tons of free publicity every month, I sent out two dozen invitations to the top small shops in the country. I received three replies. Now I understand why the public is so skeptical of the retailer-consumer relationship. I mean if they won't even respond to an offer of free marketing I can imagine how they must react when someone just wants their time to just to pick their brain.