Brice Baillie, the founder of Obvious Wine, participates in many festivals to discover new cuvées. / Photo S.C.

Despite the help of apps, it's difficult to choose a good bottle of wine in the United States, especially when you know nothing about tannin or grape variety. "Many friends asked me, as a Frenchman, to choose wine for meals. It was a huge pressure ", remembers Brice Baillie.

This is how he came up with the idea of ​​Obvious Wine, a range destined to democratize wine. The concept: each bottle comes with playful and explanatory labels including the properties of the vintage – "light and lively", "dark and strong" … – and information on the place of production, the grape variety and the dishes that can be associate with it.

With its eclectic offer, Brice Baillie aims to teach the basics of oenology. "Americans do not necessarily have the culture of wine. Many people think that Chardonnay is "buttered", whereas it can be woody. The variety is only an indication ", quotes the thirties as an example. "The tannin is often a big word that I have to explain."

The bottles of Obvious Wine are also distinguished by colorful caps and a name associated with a number. Elements that gladly recall the range of cosmetics, an influence of the previous life of the French. Originally from the Champagne region, Brice Baillie bathed in wine, but did not think of making a career there. "I saw myself as a collector, but never on a farm". And curiously, it's his move to the United States, in 2011, after his studies in finance, who will lead him there.

While following love, he discovers on American soil the entrepreneurial spirit and the desire to innovate. "In New York, I had set up a theater association for the French, we helped the tricolor boxes to produce shows while giving lessons", recalls the former chief financial officer of L'Oreal in NYC. A spirit of initiative that makes him want to go further. While L'Oréal buys NYX Cosmetics in Los Angeles, the group proposes to settle in the City of Angels. "I then discovered what the United States really was, New York is a French and European microcosm", compares Brice Baillie. "Californians encourage innovation." For a year, he is thinking about how to simplify the purchase of wine: Obvious Wine is born.

Available in more than 150 wineries in Los Angeles and Orange County, its brand sells nearly 3,000 bottles a month, wines (white, rosé and red) from California, France and Chile produced in environmentally friendly conditions. 'environment. And the success should be confirmed, with the arrival of new wines in his collection. The Champenois intends to offer limited editions, natural wines and grands crus.

Before getting there, Brice Baillie will have to win. "I struggled to find distributors, they did not want an unknown brand", he recalls. It's now ancient history. The entrepreneur adds wine shops every week in Los Angeles, while consolidating the rest of California and the state of Georgia. "We are in discussion with Florida and Texas", rejoices the Champenois.


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