Apr 19 2017
During my travels around the storied Bordeaux wine region last week, I had the opportunity to visit La Cité du Vin, a new wine museum that opened last year in the beautiful city of Bordeaux. It impressed me so much, I spent almost three hours there, but I could have easily spent another three. There is fascinating information for wine aficionados, novices, experts, non-drinkers, and even children to experience via brilliant technology and digital works of art. The museum incorporates multiple cutting edge interactive exhibits that engages multilingual visitors, seamlessly teaching everything there is to know about wine. La Cité du Vin focus is not only French wines but highlights some of the most important wine producing countries in the world and their storied wine regions. The exhibits achieve this through a combination of interactive maps, 3D photos, interviews of famous winemakers and digital books that explain each regions’ terroir, grape varieties, wine styles and other cultural aspects.
The visual and audio aspects of the museum captivate visitors in an array of intriguing installations. There are special spaces where one can sit at a dining table to learn about wine pairings and etiquette while looking at a hologram of a famous chef or master of wine sitting across from them. The museum also has a fantastic area showcasing the aromas, textures, colors, etc. that are found in wines. In this section, you truly get a lesson
Mar 22 2017
If you’ve worked in wine & spirits for more than 90 days, you’ve probably noticed there’s a lot of plonk out there when it comes to events, “food and wine festivals” and even trade shows. There’s no shortage of suspect events clamoring for your marketing dollars and 20-case wine donation. While there are some that have knocked my socks off, I must admit that quality events (by quality I mean those that result in discernible sales or great networking opportunities for a wine brand) are few and far between. And know that the worthy ones are not necessarily in the obvious places! Never underestimate the power of the Florida Panhandle Food & Wine Extravaganza (note: not a real event).
Sponsorship managers can be an aggressive bunch – as they should be. At any given moment, there’s a deluge of sponsorship decks in my inbox, with all manner of pricey packages to pick from. The requests for “in-kind” wine donations can feel like an avalanche too. Participating in these events is mentally and financially costly. They’re labor intensive and require a huge amount of detail if they are…
Mar 15 2017
I just came back from a pre-carnival trip to Trinidad & Tobago (T&T). Loved it. It has been exactly twelve years since we last visited. The twin islands are a cosmopolitan melting pot of cultures known for their incredible Carnival fetes, beautiful people, incredibly tasty and diverse cuisine, and also being the birthplace of steel pan, limbo and many musical styles from calypso to soca. Trinidad and Tobago is ground zero to the most revered bitters in the world, Angostura.
My first encounter with Angostura was in my in-laws’ kitchen before they became my in-laws (over 20 years ago). I remember staring at the funny looking bottle with the over-sized, newspaper looking label and wondering what it was. My in-laws are both great cooks, and devoted users of Angostura as a “secret” ingredient in stews, curries, seasonings, cakes, cookies, morning coffee and even as an aid to relieve and upset stomach by adding a few drops to water. You can find other creative ways to use bitters here. The story behind the…
Feb 8 2017
Don’t be fooled by the simple title, it’s a lot harder than it sounds. The other day, a colleague who typically doesn’t work on our booze business helped us out by confirming wine trade guests for a client event. He later asked me if it was normal for “wine people” to be less-than-friendly toward brand reps and us PR and marketing folks. He was taken aback by some of the reactions he got to his phone calls and I realized that I’ve become desensitized to the standard crankiness that comes with outreach to the people who move the needle on wine sales. This is largely due to the fact that trade folks are extremely busy, overworked and are primarily focused on their customers (not working on whatever it is we are asking them to do for our clients’ brands). In other words, it’s understandable.
Since our top priority as wine marketers is creating alliances with (and being useful to), the wine trade and media so they’ll recommend our client’s brands to their customers more often, relationship building and long term partnerships cannot be stalled by an unwelcoming vibe.
Jan 31 2017
Millennials are changing the face of the wine world. And they’re doing a pretty kick-ass job of it.
Propelled by a thirst for authenticity and discovery, this new generation of drinkers is embracing both old-world traditions and experimental styles. They’re not just drinking more, they’re drinking better.
Producers around the world are eagerly trying to engage this lucrative yet elusive market. And overall, they are not doing such a kick-ass job.
With a mass of curious new-comers on their doorstep, most of those trying to sell to them are doing so in the cryptic lingo of the wine aficionado—with promises of “bramble berries,” “old saddle leather” and “forest floor” as an attempt to start the conversation. While others, fueled by trends reports and superficial demographic data, are pursuing an opposite yet equally flawed strategy, of bending over backwards to show their audience how well their wine will fit into a mundane, millennial existence. (“You can pair it with pizza! You can take selfies with it!”)
Neither strategy is…
Jan 18 2017
Is it just me, or do snowflakes, icicles and sledding make you want to drink beer? There’s something about winter that screams let’s bundle up, trek through the snow and get ourselves to a brewery. (Okay, I am a year-round beer drinker so MAYBE I feel this way every day.)
Regardless, isn’t the perfect way to spend a blustery day hanging out with friends, warming up with a frothy craft beer while enjoying a beautiful view of the outdoors? I thought you’d agree. And especially in the winter, you can’t beat the scenery at a mountain brewery. Check out some of our favorites from across the U.S.
There’s nothing I love more than a quality, fun, unique brewery in a gorgeous setting…except a brewery that is environmentally-conscious and gives back to the community. Appalachian Mountain partners with local non-profits to raise awareness and funds through their Pints for Non-Profits program, while also focusing on sustainable business practices. Love! Check out some of their flagship beers: Black Gold Porter, Boone Creek Blond Ale and Long Leaf IPA. (And hey, they have ciders
Jan 4 2017
And some among us may be opting to drink less alcohol as their resolution for a myriad of reasons, including to lose weight, save money, make smarter texting choices, etcetera. Drinking less alcohol is a goal for many when starting out the new year; binging during the holidays with family and friends can leave a sour taste in one’s mouth and give rise to a renewed determination for cutting back.
No matter the reason, “Dry January” will be a reality for many. For those not quitting cold turkey, quality over quantity may be the best option. So, true to form, we’d like to provide a few choices for those opting to have only the occasional cocktail. To give you the best bang for your alcoholic buck, if you will.
Old World Wines
We foresee 2017 as being a fun, high-quality year that won’t break the bank. You know what’s also high quality and won’t break the bank? Wine from Old Word regions. You can find affordable…
Dec 21 2016
It’s no secret that health and wellness themes are increasingly a topic of mainstream discussion. Whether it’s the cover of Time magazine or Oprah’s partnership with Deepak Chopra and Weight Watchers, these themes are cropping up in myriad ways.
Embracing a holistic health mindset is becoming popularized – it’s no longer just for the “alternative” or “hippie” crowd. There is a broader recognition of the importance of mental and emotional health, the impact they have upon physical health/energy, and vice versa. Meditation has moved mainstream and “adult play” such as coloring books are on the rise – evidenced in part by the multiple options available for holiday gifts at my local bookstore. Other related movements include increasing sleep, breaks from digital communication, and a push to embrace life outside of work, as well as wellness in the workplace.
In the food realm, it means a “back to basics” approach: a focus on whole foods and ingredient quality more than calories, and fitness for the sake of feeling good versus the number of pounds you hope to lose. Extreme…