Waco Chat

Jacobo Garcia

By Kevin Tankersley

Sommelier

“I want to sell you what you need, not what I want you to have.”

Vantage Wine Club started in 2019, but it wasn’t until COVID hit that it really started taking off. It’s a $100 membership fee annually.

What we started doing at first, it was you tell us what you want and we’re going to get you that wine per case at a cheaper price. I started doing it that way, but then we started to realize that we could find a lot of deals through our distributors. A lot of times it takes a distributor two weeks to get the wine, if they can find the wine. We didn’t want people to wait, so we started buying wine and having it on hand.

Because of my background in wine, a lot of people just started asking me, ‘Hey, which one should we get?’ It just started going from there.

I was always a big red [wine] guy, only cabernets, only Bordeaux blends. As I started doing my studies — to become certified [as a sommelier], you have to do a blind tasting.

White wines were really my weakness, so I started drinking a lot more white wines. I started with chardonnay, and the more I started drinking it, the more I realized I actually really liked chardonnay. I first was kind of like, ‘I’m not sure why I’m liking this.’ But the more I talked to a lot of sommeliers, it’s actually pretty normal that you go from red to chardonnays.

At Dancing Bear Pub, Garcia chose a chardonnay from Stags’ Leap Winery. “It has citrus, maybe grapefruit. And then vanilla for me is the biggest part of that one,” he said. “But then you get some peaches, not just peaches, but almost like baked or bruised peaches.”

They call chardonnay the winemaker’s wine, because they can manipulate the wine and do different things to it.

I wanted to do marketing. Then as I started doing classes, I realized I’m actually good at sales. I figured, hey, that might be my future. I started serving certain tables [at DiamondBack’s]. When you do a lot of high-end tables, it’s not just serving, it’s a lot of sales. And that’s when I really developed my sales technique.

My sales technique is just be honest, be ethical. I want to sell you what you need, not what I want you to have.

Because if I sell you what you need and not what I want to sell you, I’m going to get repeat customers. That’s why we want people to go to us when they buy wine. We keep track of what they’re buying, and we have that relationship with our customers.


Jacobo “Coby” Garcia is a wine guy. He’s the co-owner of Vantage Wine Club, which he helped start in October of last year; he’s the head server and sommelier at DiamondBack’s, where he’s worked for almost nine years; and consultant and sommelier at Dancing Bear Pub, under whose auspices the wine club operates. Garcia is from Chihuahua, Mexico; grew up in El Paso; and came to Waco in 2001 to study international business and marketing at Baylor University. He’s studying to become a certified sommelier, the second of a four-step process in becoming a master sommelier.

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