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The Wine Importer's Goldilocks Problem

Ned Blinick

Co-Founder, 3rdwave

We all know the story of Goldilocks and the 3 Bears. (If you don’t, you can read it here or here, or you can watch it here.) In short, this the story is about a girl, Goldilocks, who is hungry and tired and happens across a house in the woods that is home to 3 bears, a Papa Bear, a Mama Bear, and a Baby Bear, who have gone out for a walk and are therefore not home. As Goldilocks enters the house, there are three bowls of oatmeal set upon the table. She tries the first, which is too hot; she tries the second and it is too cold; but the third one is ‘just right’. (I’ll forgo recounting the rest of the tale, so as not to spoil the ending.) It strikes me that, as Wine Importers, you have historically faced this Goldilocks problem as it pertains to software for your business. Importing wine (and beer and spirits) has many similarities to the importing of any other commodity: you face all the same operational and regulatory requirements as other importers do. These similarities would suggest that a standard software package would help you manage your business. But importing wine (and beer and spirits) also has some uniqueness: you need to manage your TTB COLA and FDA registrations, calculate excise tax, etc.. (I’ve previously written about some of the specific challenges wine importers face here and here.) These ‘unique’ challenges require specialized software; software that is designed specifically for your industry. These solutions exist - but given that they are so specialized, they tend not to have the full breadth of functionality that broader systems have.Wine Importers have historically been faced with the same problem that Goldilocks is faced with: Do I eat the oatmeal that is too hot (a broad, non-specialized solution); or do I eat the oatmeal that is too cold (a specialized but less-than-functional solution). The only other option was not to eat oatmeal: do your work manually, or build your own solution.Fortunately, the ‘Just Right’ solution for Wine Importers is now a reality. Built on 3rdwave’s already comprehensive and robust Import, Export, and Trade Compliance platform, 3rdwave for Wine & Spirits Importers provides all the functionality required to meet the stringent regulatory requirements to support TTB, FDA, and CBP. It also dramatically simplifies the most complicated of import (and export) operational processes, including managing consolidated and deconsolidated shipments, as well as multiple IORs on a single shipment.In the past, not only did GTM solutions not met the needs of the W&S industry, they were incredibly cost prohibitive - it was virtually impossible to obtain a positive ROI on GTM solutions. Today, with 3rdwave for Wine & Spirits Importers, the ROI is positive, and significantly so. (You can visit our pricing page at you are interested in learning more about 3rdwave for Wine & Spirits Importers, please drop us a line at

Grant Sernick is Director of Sales at 3rdwave. His career has focused on process improvement spanning a variety of industries, including Aerospace, Retail, Telecom, and Furniture. These broad range of experiences have enabled him to learn very quickly different industries and their value drivers, and help customers understand how innovative new processes can build significant value within their organizations.