Often, my memory skills are challenged by my costumers; just few minutes ago, two girls came in and told me: "I bought a white wine some time ago that was very good - it had a pear taste, it was around $21, and I'm sure you were the one that recommended it."
I was reminded of when I used to DJ, and I would go to my local record shop and try to sing the song I wanted, something I had heard somewhere, and I usually received, as consequence, a puzzled look from the shop's owner.
It happens quite often that someone purchases a bottle of wine and likes it - I usually do too. But when they return to pick up the same bottle some time later, they can't remember the name, grape, appelation, or even the color of the label - all things that might help me to figure out which bottle they are talking about.
Sometimes after few minutes of asking questions and pointing at bottles I do find the wine they loved, and they leave happy to have picked up something they know they will like. But other times, finding the right bottle is a task for Tom Cruise (Mission Impossible).
I used to tell people to write down the name of the wine or producer, or to bookmark it on the De Vino website. But notes with wine names on them get misplaced and mixed up, and people aren't always coming from home, where they can check the website. Then, all of a sudden one day, a brilliant idea struck me like lightning, and I asked a costumer: "do you have a camera in your phone?"
Most of the time the answer is yes, and I always suggest taking a picture of the wine you like. Considering that you will always carry your phone with you, it will be the easiest way to create a wine database.
And now, you can also download your pictures onto your computer and create word documents with pictures, notes and anything else you like to include in your archive.
I've been suggesting that to a lot of people and it looks like it works and is a pretty accessible system for the majority. I now have a few costumers that send me email with pictures of wine they had, and want me to look for.
It's also helpful when I select a mixed case for my out-of-town costumers - they can send me emails with pictures and feedback on what they liked (or didn't like, which it doesn't happen very often thank god).
So remember - if you find something you really like, and you'd like to have it again, take a moment to snap a photo on your cell phone. It'll almost certainly save you time and puzzled looks.
Buona Bevuta a Tutti