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What is the Tastemaker program?

Our Tastemaker program is your opportunity to launch your career in the wine industry. Whether you're a wine novice or experienced sommelier, and whether you're looking to earn extra cash or find full-time employment, we have options available that fit your needs and experience.

As a Tastemaker you'll earn commissions on sales that you + your teammates generate through wine tastings, customer referrals, and online storefront sales. Your success will directly support the family-owned, independent wineries in our portfolio.

Why become a Tastemaker?

Hear from our Tastemakers

Ready to get started?

Your membership includes everything you need to start a successful wine business:

  • Comprehensive onboarding and training on Melier, our wines, and how to sell
  • Ongoing coaching and mentorship with our team and other Tastemakers
  • Your personal online storefront, built and maintained by Melier
  • Your services promoted via Melier's social, email, and other marketing channels
  • Access to our network of private hosting venues, corporate clients, and partners
  • Invites to exclusive events with other Tastemakers, vintners, and industry leaders
  • Discounts and rewards on Melier products & services

Ready to get started? Submit your application below and we'll be in touch shortly.

Tastemaker FAQs

What is the Melier Tastemaker program?

Tastemakers are people with knowledge of wine, and potentially professional wine industry experience, who sell wine-related products and services on behalf of Melier and our winery partners.

Tastemakers drive sales through hosting in-person and virtual events, referring potential clients to Melier's team, and through their online Melier storefront.

Who is eligible to become a Tastemaker?

Anyone with the interest and drive to be successful in the wine industry can become a Tastemaker. Our Tastemakers come from diverse backgrounds and include sommeliers, real estate agents, teachers, retirees, attorneys, sales reps, and stay-at-home parents.

All Tastemakers must submit an application and complete a brief interview in order to join. Although prior wine industry experience can be helpful, it isn't required. We will tailor our onboarding and training to meet your level of experience.

Our only non-negotiable is your desire and ability to ethically and professionally represent Melier, our wineries, and our industry partners both in front of customers and in your public-facing life.

How do Tastemakers earn an income?

As a Tastemaker you earn commissions on:

  • Sales that you make yourself
  • Sales from customers you refer to Melier
  • Sales made by other Tastemakers that you've recruited

Products and services that are eligible for commission include:

  • Wine bottles
  • Melier wine club memberships
  • Wine tastings (in-person or virtual)
  • Melier concierge referrals

Tastemakers are ultimately responsible for driving their sales. However, Melier will provide promotional support via social media & email marketing, and targeted customer outreach.

How much do Tastemakers earn?

We've structured our program to give Tastemakers the opportunity to make a full-time living, earn a nice side income, and everything in between. Your success ultimately depends on how much time you invest in the program, and in building and mentoring your team.

Commission payouts are as follows:

Wine bottle sales

  • 16% of your sales
  • 4% of your team's sales

Melier wine club membership sales

  • 20% of your initial shipments
  • 5% of your team's initial shipments
  • 8% of your renewals
  • 2% of your team's renewals

Concierge service referrals

  • 40% of your referrals
  • 10% of your team's referrals

Private tastings sourced by Melier

  • 60% of service fees from events you host
  • 15% of service fees from events your team hosts

Private tastings sourced by you

  • 100% of service fees from events you host

What are the eligibility requirements to earn commissions?

To be eligible to earn commissions on your sales and referrals:

  • You must have an active Tastemaker membership and be up to date on member dues
  • Transactions, including referrals, must originate from your online storefront or other Melier approved source

To be eligible to earn commission on your team's sales and referrals:

  • Your team member must have submitted their online Tastemaker application and listed you as their referring party
  • Your team member's application must be approved and they must have successfully completed onboarding
  • Your team member must have an active Tastemaker membership and be up to date on member dues
  • Your team member's transactions, including referrals, must have originated from their online storefront or other Melier approved source
How much does it cost to become a Tastemaker?

There is no cost to apply to the Tastemaker program.

Tastemakers who are accepted and decide to join the program will be required to pay a membership fee of $39/mo to cover the costs of training, growth & promotional resources, storefront hosting, membership benefits, and general support. Your membership dues will be refunded in any month during which you meet the waiver eligibility requirements.

Tastemakers also have the option to purchase a program launch package that include wines and educational materials for your first tasting. Launch packages are optional and start at $195.

How can I get my membership dues waived?

Your Tastemaker membership dues will be waived for any month in which you transact $1000 or more in combined sales + referrals.

Is there a minimum time commitment required?

Nope! We understand that needs and circumstances change, and you can pause (or end) your Tastemaker membership at any time.

However, we kindly request that new Tastemakers make a good-faith effort to commit to the program for at least six months.

How does wine purchasing work?

All wine purchases must be transacted online through your personal online storefront, through the main storefront on melier.com, or through the winery website with appropriate tracking code.

Any wine that you order for a tasting event may be purchased at Melier's preferred partner rate. You may request that Melier subsidize the cost of the wine in return for a minimum guest spend guarantee. Requests for a subsidy must be made in writing and agreed to at least 7 days in advance of the event.

All wine fulfillment and shipping must be handled by the winery or a licensed third party. Tastemakers are not permitted to transact orders offline, or to ship wine to customers themselves.

How is the Tastemaker program different from an MLM?

We've designed our program to ensure that all Tastemakers have an opportunity to earn a nice income — not just the ones who got in first, as is the case with an MLM.

The compensation model, by virtue of commission being paid only to the Tastemaker and their immediate team, incentivizes Tastemakers to mentor and support their team instead of simply trying to build the biggest team possible.

Lastly, Melier provides Tastemakers with a myriad of tools and services they need to be successful, including:

  • Growth/promotional resources
  • Weekly virtual meetups
  • Feedback and strategy sessions
  • In-person networking events

Have questions about becoming a Tastemaker?

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