ericAt the Small and Special conference in Seattle over the summer, Eric LeVine gave a presentation on his business CellarTracker. It piqued my interest for a few reasons. One, I use CellarTracker to track our cellar and wine purchases. I love it. It always works; gives additional information on the wine we’re buying such as other’s opinions, auction pricing and a whole lot more.

But more importantly, I was interested in Eric’s story. How did he manage to build such a successful business (even taking on much larger, VC-backed competition)?

In this video he talks about a sabbatical at, then employer, Microsoft that ultimately led to the idea for tracking wines on a Web site. In turn, that led to friends trying it out. The rest they say is history… but not without a challenge or two along the way. In the end, his vision has helped pave the way towards the “democratization of wine.”