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Meet Jeff Holden: Marketing Director at Bauer Wine & Spirits

23 September

Jeff Holden is the Marketing Director at Bauer Wines & Spirits, a Boston off-premise staple that has been operating on Newbury Street for over 50 years. Bauer and Rioja recently worked together on a stunning window display for summer Riojas, as well as a series of wine & tapas events, and a Rioja “Picnic & Grilling” mixed case special. 

What do you love about working with wine?  

Obviously wine itself is great, but one of my favorite parts of working in this industry is the people I meet. Professionals from all walks of life end up in the wine world, but without exception they’re always creative, kind, and exciting people to work with. As a younger member of the community I’ve found that everyone is always happy to take 5 or 10 minutes out of their day to teach me something new. With a virtually endless world of wine to explore, it’s a shared passion that I think we all keep interesting for each other.

What do you love about Rioja?

Rioja was my introduction to wine – my older brother shared a bottle with me when I was younger and thought I only liked beer - so it will always be close to my heart for that reason. Even as I’ve continued to explore other regions in Spain and beyond, I always find myself back with our Rioja wines when making a recommendation to a customer. They’re easy to pair with food, offer great value in the under $15 price range, and are full of depth and elegance for those willing to spend a little more. Many of the wines walk a fine line between old world/new world that make them a great choice for a crowd with varied tastes.

What’s your favorite current wine trend?

I love that demand is so high for wines under $15 right now. This gives our store a great advantage in that we can find amazing bottles that blow away all of the new “supermarket” wines hitting the shelves. It’s great that high-quality wine has become an affordable luxury, with some of our selections under $15 seriously outshining wines for almost twice the price. Wines like Rioja are booming right now because they over-deliver for their price tag, and consumers are understanding that more than ever.

What’s your most memorable wine moment?

At one of my first trade dinners, I was dressed to impress and networking like a pro. I was at a table with some industry veterans and trying to glean as much insight and knowledge as possible in between sips and bites. About halfway through (and after much consumption), someone knocked a glass of red wine right in my lap – all over my jacket, tie, and pants. I had little choice but to clean up in the bathroom and try to save my nice clothes with some water, and I went the rest of the night with a rather unfortunately placed stain!

Photo (from left): Jeff Holden; Rioja U.S. Trade Campaign Director Ana Fabiano; Luis Alberto Lecea, president of the DOCa Rioja