[Chapter 8] Everything Wine with Martin Bathke

Ah, the holiday season!

It’s that time of the year of merriment, music, and memories. Holiday parties happen all over the world where such components become the center of attention: food, gifts… and drink!

Let us emphasize on the drink. While this festive season is not necessarily the best time to be inebriated, it is, however, the time to bring out the wine glasses. My guest for this post surely has a lot of nuggets of wisdom when it comes to that bottle of Merlot you are holding at this moment.

I met this week’s guest through Shapr, the free app for professional networking. Shapr introduces the most relevant nearby professionals who share your interests! I am beyond excited to introduce to you my guest for today’s post, Martin Bathke! I touched base on his passion for wine, founding a wine networking platform, his favorite bottle of wine, entrepreneurship, and many more.

On past conversations, the response to this question was the same: “It’s a great way to network”. Bathke answered this question quite differently. “I haven’t come across an app like Shapr before,” Bathke responded. He also likes its simplicity, from its user interface to its purpose of connecting with professionals. He also mentioned Shapr’s distinct feature of swiping a limited number of profiles a day. It gives him control. “If there is an end, you can budget your time,” Bathke added.

What makes him want to “swipe right” to a Shapr profile? Simple: he looks at interests. Does Bathke see a match with his professional goals? “Most profiles write ‘I am looking for. . .’ in their profile summaries. If I could fill that gap, then I’ll definitely swipe right,” Bathke said. If there is no bio, he doesn’t think twice and just swipes left.

JP: Find the “soft spot” in the content of your profiles. It shouldn’t be as short as a one-liner that says “I’m here to connect with like-minded professionals” or as long as your life story. Find your uniqueness. How can this uniqueness act as a “bridge” to others?

Of course, it’s better to put something than nothing at all — unless you’re using a “visually-dependent” platform.

There were 2 people who came to Bathke’s mind — Jennifer Huether and Bruce Wallner. Both of them are Master Sommeliers. Bathke considers Huether as her mentor, while Wallner was the one who got him started with his passion. Bathke is tremendously grateful to these two people, most recently with Huether as she helped Bathke in the food and wine show, making connections, getting sponsors, and promote the Enos platform. Meanwhile, Bathke had the pleasure to meet Wallner when he took a course at the Sommelier Factory.

Wallner and Huether are only 2 of 5 Master Sommeliers in Canada (3 are in Toronto).  At the moment when Bathke thought his wine knowledge was enough, Huether and Wallner inebriated him even more.

There are only 236 Master Sommeliers around the world.

Bathke built Enos Tastings because of his desire to fill a gap. “I want to join groups and communities that hold wine tasting sessions. I can’t find anything online,” Bathke said. The easy route is to create a Meetup group or a social media page. However, Bathke took things many steps further, thus the birth of Enos Tastings. Since 2016, together with his team, he oversees many aspects of this platform, such as building the platform with programming tools to marketing it both online and offline.

Enos Tastings is an online platform that allows wine lovers of all experience levels to network, engage, and educate. Bathke continues to talk about his enthusiasm for this platform while he grabs his computer from his bag. He showed me photos of his participation at the Food and Wine Expo held at the Metro Toronto Convention Center. He also shared his excitement about his long-term plans, citing a “strong 5-year plan” for the platform.

“I’m not promoting being wasted. I’m promoting education.”

Bathke also shares the mission behind this platform. “A little education goes a long way in enjoying wine,” Bathke added. “With this platform, you can curate your wine education one bottle at a time. This platform does not promote elitism but, rather, openness and inclusiveness. There is definitely a place for you.”

His thoughts on Advertising. “There should be early education on good and bad advertising. Some people don’t question enough.”
His favorite wine bottle of all time. “Definitely a 2011 Sauvignon Blanc from Five Rows! I never came across a better bottle.
Most # of wine he drank on one sitting. “No more than three. Maybe I’ll go 5 on special occasions. I don’t like feeling drunk. Why would someone compel himself/herself to feel that state? Respect goes out the window when you’re drunk.”
The complexity of wine. “Wine is subjective. You can talk for days on a single bottle like the climate, the quality of grapes, the family history, and much more”.

Martin Bathke. The Founder of Enos Tastings — a network for wine lovers

What is the reason why Bathke chose these three words for Enos Tasting’s landing page? “To be honest, it’s the first thing that came to my mind,” Bathke responded. He wanted a simple way to describe his platform. These three words also represent a linear process on Enos Tasting’s mission. Bathke also spent some time talking about the “Connect” phase of his platform. “It’s better to have an own platform rather than creating a business page on Facebook where it competes with millions of other profiles. This platform is a niche compared to Facebook that tries to be everything”.

Bathke completed a Bachelor of Commerce in Management and Entrepreneurship at Ryerson University. He shared his own thoughts on the cut-throat world of Entrepreneurship both as a student and in his professional life. In a nutshell, it’s more than just being your own boss.

“You have to be action-oriented,” Bathke shared. “There is no room for passiveness. You have to be tenacious in the face of adversity. For example, when you get a ‘no’, take it as a feedback to empower. You are also a leader. You guide the company mission and vision. The degree of success will vary”.

“I want to leave this world by making a mark,” Bathke ended. Whether it may be in the wine industry, entrepreneurship, or in other endeavors, Bathke remains optimistic about what lies ahead along with the passion to share his story to others.

On y va!

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