Exclusive interview for iBESTmag with Walter Gosso, new Trade Advocacy Manager and Brand Ambassador of Rinaldi1957 group, a company from Bologna, one of the biggest in Italy focused on the distribution of spirits, liqueurs and wines, specialized in the On Trade channel.
In the world of beverage, mixology and good drinking, there are many and different skills that make up the path between the producer and the final consumer. Each of these steps is fundamental for the whole “system” to be perfect. For example, without the marketing or distribution sector, even a perfect product would never arrive in the glass of an enthusiast.
In recent years, the figure of the Brand Ambassador has become increasingly important, especially in the industry of mixology. Key position, as we will see, as a trait d’union between the producer, the mixologist and the consumers. Walter Gosso is one of the best known, authoritative and established Brand Ambassadors. We met him personally a couple of years ago and now, due to his transition towards the Rinaldi1957 company, we interview him, exclusively for us by our Mixology expert, our friend Carlo Dutto.
In this wonderful chat, we will get to know both the figure of the Brand Ambassador and the personal history of a great professional in the sector, thanks also to several significant anecdotes.
Before giving the floor to Carlo and Walter, however, let’s remember, as always, to drink responsibly and in moderation.
Born in 1972, a native of Carmagnola, in Piemonte, Walter Gosso arrives at Rinaldi1957 at the same time as new, important distribution acquisitions: the Martinique rum HSE – Habitation Saint-Etienne; the very Italian Amaro Venti, for the first time also in a non-alcoholic version, but also Polugar, the ‘father’ of the Russian vodka, Rivo, the first Italian foraged gin and the Aviation Gin, of which the actor Ryan Reynolds is the main shareholder.
1 – Walter Gosso, explain the figure of the brand ambassador: what is his role in a company, how does he move and who does he meet, what is his figure and what are his objectives?
The figure of the Brand Ambassador in recent years has become increasingly relevant in the beverage world: he represents a brand or a company in the market, disseminates the knowledge of products both at the level of professionals in the sector and consumers. A Brand Ambassador must know his company in detail, from birth to all its history, from its production to the image that can have in the market, as well as knowing both the lacks and the value of the individual products. She/He should, if possible, follow its development in many situations and know who lives and produces a product. A Brand Ambassador must support the sales network of a company or brand, must support the development of projects related to the brand, which can be of great help to the sales network and to the perfect positioning in the market. Among the main objectives of my role, keeping high the market attention on the product I represent, with marketing work, follow-up of the bartenders, targeted management of social media and a masterclass and tasting program in the sector specific events. The relationship with the marketing and sales areas must be very close: a good Brand Ambassador becomes the perfect bond between these two realities.
2 – Can you tell us your work history? What training do you have?
My journey into the world of the bar began at the age of 14, in my cousin’s bar and with the hotel school. I worked on a seasonal level between Liguria and the Alps in Piemonte, then in Turin, at Bar Zucca and Neuv Caval ‘d Bruns. After this, in Bra (in the province of Cuneo) I took over the Caffè Posta and after two years, in 1998, I left with my suitcase for my adventure in the world. I worked between Spain, the Canary Islands, Miami, Central America and the Caribbean and then South America, until I came back to Italy, in 2010. I went back to Bra and managed the historic Caffè Arpino, then I returned in Turin, passing through several places, until the opening of the The Mad Dog Speakeasy, in 2014. In 2016 I accepted the position of Global Ambassador for Travel Retail of the Bacardi Group, with a focus on the Cruise Line Company sector. In 2018 I moved to the Compagnia dei Caraibi, as Advocacy Manager and Ambassador. In 2020 I accepted the offer for the position of Ambassador and Trade Advocacy Manager for the Rinaldi1957 group. My training passes through the Hotel Institute Giolitti and A.I.B.E.S., I am a wine and sake sommelier and I have attended various masters about spirits.
3 – To be a good Ambassador you need to have a knowledge related to mixology and beverage: why?
To be a good Ambassador, first of all, you need to have years of experience in the world of mixing and spirits: without this base you cannot dialogue with the professionals of the sector, it is a fundamental basis, which helps you to better know any phase of this job, especially the critical issues that come, in some moments. An Ambassador has the obligation to get to know the world of mixing and hospitality better, it is part of our expertise, such as the fact of having traveled and worked in different locations in the world, which helps to relate better to all professionals and consumers.
4 – You are recently landed in Rinaldi1957: which products are you dealing with and which are the ‘top’ ones and why?
In Rinaldi1957 we have two catalogs: the spirits one and the wines one. I mainly deal with the Ramsbury Gin, Champagne Jacquart and Don Papa Rum brands, but my range of action is on the entire catalogues, which include excellence in the world of spirits such as Glenfarclas Scotch Whisky or the Italian OSCAR.697 Vermouth, and many wines too.
5 – What do you like to drink and why?
I am a passionate lover of champagne: it is a beautiful and wonderful weakness! I love whisky and whiskey in all their facets as well as cognac. As for cocktails, I am a drinker of Martini Cocktail and Daiquiri, which I consider to be real pillars in the History of the industry.
6 – You already mentioned it…as a fan, which is your favorite cocktail to drink and which to prepeare and why?
As I mentioned before, absolutely the Martini Cocktail, both to prepare it for my guests and to drink at the counter of a nice bar. The Martini Cocktail is History, Poetry and Art, it is the most noble of all cocktails: in a few ingredients and steps you can see more than a century of the Art of mixing and when you drink it, your soul warms up and the heart throbs strongly: this is a good Martini Cocktail!
7 – Among the surpluses of your work, travel, numerous and in splendid places … can you tell us one or two specifically and what have they left you on a human and working level?
During my period of work with Bacardi, on cruise ships, I had the opportunity to visit several places, one of these were the Norwegian fjords and the North Cape: I will never forget my Martini Cocktail drunk on the ship’s deck, enjoying an event unique in the world, the Aurora Borealis. Another special place that I visited was Japan, a country of unique cultural wealth: I remember the embarrassment of walking on the streets of Tokyo, with thousands of people absorbed in absolute silence. On a working level, when you have the opportunity to travel, you enrich yourself with many things, learn about different customs, amplify your views and create an immense cultural background.
8 – How do you think your work has specifically changed due to this period of quarantine and Covid-19?
Certainly this period made my work focus on smart-working: I worked a lot on social networks, with live on Instagram and Facebook, meetings on Zoom with our sales network and customers and I tried to be as close as possible to our customers and friends bartender, constantly keeping in touch. The work of deepening the products has been increased and new strategies for the future have been studied, because this damned virus will die, and we must be ready to start again immediately, to give people a smile!
We recommend that you always drink alcohol in moderation and above all, do not drive after doing it.
Interview Carlo Dutto for iBESTmag © – Images courtesy of Carlo Dutto – Reproduction Forbidden