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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, with opportunities to support your favorite charitable causes as well.

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

Tastemaker membership dues are $19/mo to cover onboarding, support, and web hosting. Your membership dues will be waived in any month where you meet the minimum waiver requirements (see FAQs below).

Optional starter packs are available for purchase and include wines for your first tasting, educational materials, and Melier swag.

Tastemaker FAQs

What is a Melier Tastemaker?

A Tastemaker is a wine professional who sells 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 promoting their online storefront to their audiences.

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 is not 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?

Tastemakers can earn an income through multiple channels:

  • In-person wine tastings
  • Virtual wine tastings
  • Referring customers to Melier
  • Sales via your online storefront

Tastemakers are ultimately responsible for sourcing attendees for their events, driving traffic to their storefront, and ensuring their customer referrals are tracked back to them.

However, Melier will also help you promote your services and drive traffic to your storefront.

How much can Tastemakers earn?

Tastemakers earns commissions on sales that that they make themselves, sales from customers they refer to Melier, and sales made by other Tastemakers that they recruit to Melier.

We've designed the commissions plans and our support model so that Tastemakers hosting one event per week with a small team can make a nice side income, and Tastemakers hosting multiple events per week with a large team can do it as a full-time job. Commissions are structured as follows:

Wine bottles

  • 15% of your sales
  • 3% of sales from your team

Melier wine club memberships

  • 25% of your sales
  • 5% of sales from your team

Melier concierge referrals

  • 35% of your sales
  • 7% of sales from your team

Tastemaker-for-hire

  • 75% of your sales
  • 15% of sales from your team
What are the eligibility requirements to earn commissions?

To be eligible to earn commissions

  • You must be have an active Tastemaker membership
  • Sales must be transacted via your storefront
  • Client referrals must be done in writing either by you or the client

To be eligible for team commissions:

  • You must have referred the candidate via a referral application OR they must have listed your name + email as their referral source on their own application
  • Their application must be approved, they must successful complete the Tastemaker onboarding program, and they must remain in good financial standing with Melier

Client and teammate referrals are only eligible on the first referral by the first Tastemaker. Subsequent referrals by other Tastemakers will not be eligible for commission.

How much does it cost to become a Tastemaker?

Tastemakers must pay membership dues of $19/mo to cover the costs of training, support, web hosting, etc. Membership dues will be waived in any month where you meet the waiver eligibility requirements.

Tastemakers have the option to purchase different starter packages that include wines for your first tasting, educational materials, and Melier swag. Starter packages are optional and pricing starts at $195.

How can I get my membership dues waived?

Your Tastemaker membership dues will be waived in any month where you transact a minimum of $500 through your online storefront and customer referrals.

How does wine purchasing work?

All wine purchases, whether made by you or your customers, must be transacted online through your personal storefront, through the main storefront on melier.com, or through the winery website with appropriate designation code. All shipping and fulfillment must be handled by the winery or licensed third party.

Tastemakers are not legally permitted to store wine inventory for sale, nor facilitate a transaction through any other medium.

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 is the Tastemaker program different from an MLM?

The Tastemaker program is similar to an MLM in that members earn income on sales that they and their referred teammates make.

However, we designed our program to ensure that all Tastemakers have the opportunity to earn a good income, no matter how early or late they joined the program. It's also designed to foster a community-led support model between teammates, and to ensure that Tastemakers can leverage Melier's resources to enhance their opportunities for success.

The primary differences between the Tastemaker program and MLM are:

  • Tastemakers earn income on their sales and from sales of their direct recruits. Tastemakers do not earn income from sales made by recruits of their recruits.
  • Team and individual commissions rates are balanced to incentivize close-knit, high performing teams that provide continued mentorship and support to each other. "Recruit and forget" will not drive success as a Tastemaker.
  • Melier will prioritize our resource allocations (e.g. client referrals, event venues) to high-performing teams over low-performing teams.
How does Melier help Tastemakers support charitable causes?

While Melier does not automatically make charitable donations based on your sales, you may apply to host a charity-eligible wine event up to two times per year.

Your application will ask you to choose your preferred charitable organization towards which our donations will be made. The chosen organization must be a registered 501(c)(3) to be eligible.

During each charitable event, and for 24 hours afterwards, Melier will donate 100% of the profits from your sales and referrals to your chosen charitable organization.

Charitable donations will not impact your commissions, but you may choose to reallocate some or all of your commissions from your event as a charitable donation. NOTE: Teammate commissions will not be paid on charitable events.

Have questions about becoming a Tastemaker?

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