Anyone with a profound love of vino can’t help but be “red” with envy over the way wine expert Marc Lazar spends his days. Whether it’s traveling the globe in the name of a vintage wine trade, or sampling some of the rarest varieties from the cellars of his most important collectors, Marc Lazar has life by the bottle.
Marc Lazar, 34
President and Founder
Cellar Advisors and Domaine Wine Storage
How He Got Into the Biz By accident—I took a part-time job in wine retail during grad school, mostly to expand my knowledge and gain experience. I learned a ton and also realized that large collectors require a lot of services that retailers usually aren’t equipped to handle. From there, the business has grown from referrals and relationships in the wine trade. Our consulting business came first, and we soon realized that collectors needed more space to properly age their wines, hence the start of Domaine Wine Storage.
Training I have no official wine training aside from the Court of Master Sommeliers certification, but I’ve had the fortune of being mentored by some of the greatest living collectors and wine professionals. Many of my clients have been collecting since before I was born. I ask lots of questions and soak up their perspectives and wisdom.
Best Work Day Ever Being driven to a secret walled vineyard for the first tasting of a brand new wine made by the famous champagne house, Krug. A close second would be when I was able to bring my wife to the first major wine auction in Hong Kong. It was truly a cultural spectacle, and the beginning of a new era in our industry.
Why His Job Rocks I have amazing, supportive clients, the opportunity to taste the rarest wines in the world on a daily basis and an incredibly talented team that can accomplish anything involving wine, no matter how complex.
Typical Day It always starts with an espresso over the “WSJ” and “Financial Times.” Then, I’ll have a few calls with brokers, clients or our traveling staff members who report back from the cellars they are working in. If traveling, I spend my days inspecting and cataloging a cellar, or meeting with clients to discuss their collecting goals. Work-life balance is a bit tricky in our business, so travel is often for work and vacation, and evenings can be spent both relaxing and entertaining clients—sometimes all at once.
Proudest Moment My No. 1 would be when our St. Louis, Chicago and DC staffs all came together for the first time for an all-company meeting. The second is representing one of my collectors in selling one of the rarest and most valuable single parcels of wine ever traded. It involved three currencies, two helicopter rides and quite a bit of heavy lifting.
Best Job Perk The wine, for sure. Freedom to travel and an amazing team are close seconds.
Goals for the Future We are about to announce new markets for our storage business that will open in 2011. My wife, Katherine, works alongside me, and growth means a larger team, so keeping the offices running smoothly is critical to managing our work-life balance. I’m focused on adding at least two new international clients in 2011 and additional storage markets in the coming years.
Photo credit: Photo by Attilio D’Agostino