The Booze Bin

What Does the Premiumization Boom Mean for Wine Marketers?

Though this change had been sneaking up on us ever since the U.S. economy got back on its feet, 2015 marked the official start of the wine industry’s “trading up” trend, which I optimistically viewed as a sign that the ever-maturing American palate had no turning back. Finally!

What the wine trade calls “premiumization” (or, in jargon-free terms, increased sales of more expensive, less entry-level wine) is now the new normal in the U.S., and that means we can no longer be viewed as the uncouth drinkers of the world. Sorry, Two Buck Chuck!

Americans are drinking better wine than ever and brands have certainly taken notice. Sure, case stacks of character-free $6.99 Pinot Grigio still fly off the floor at a supermarket near you, but the sweet spot that hovers around $15 is one of the most consistent growth segments in the wine business. What does this mean for the those of us who spend most of our time telling everyone what they should be drinking and why?

First, encourage your wine clients to rise to the occasion.

The global wine industry is not known for being swift and changeable. Changes to the font size

PR Industry Trends

What You Should Be Drinking This Fall: Five Trend Predictions

tart-cherry-chia-mimosa-600

The very definition of the word trend means to veer in a general direction or to show a tendency. Below are five beverages on my radar for the coming months, rooted in hard data but sourced from what I’m seeing and hearing in the New York scene.

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Fresh cocktails

The surge of nutritionally-aware (if not nutritionally-balanced) cocktails is imminent. You read it here first. We’ve seen this theme gain momentum in the culinary community with fresh, season-driven menus. This philosophy is extending into beverage programs as well. Two examples:

-Mixologists are increasingly using natural natural sweeteners like maple syrup as a healthy and tasty alternatives to refined sugar in cocktails. Here are 27 examples, courtesy of Eater and bar programs around the country.

-Opening next week, Rouge Tomate Chelsea, with its avant-garde SPE-certified food and beverage program, is featuring cocktails (and mocktails) with fresh ingredients like carrot and cucumber juice and chia seeds.

Image result for magnums of wine

Big Bottles

Whether high-brow or low-brow, large format bottles are showing up on more home and restaurant tables. There are also restaurants who are…

The Booze Bin

Sweet, Sour and Savory: 8 Fruity Beers to Please Your Palette

When you think of kicking back and relaxing with a delicious, cold craft beer, “fruit” most likely, is not the first word that comes to mind. However, if you’ve been testing out the craft beer scene this summer, you know that fruit-infused beers are HOT. Although summer is winding down, rest assured, fruit beers are not going anywhere. You will likely find beer flavored with all types of fruits, from apple to mango to sour cherry, throughout the year. Not only do I encourage you to try these beers for the unique flavors, I am choosing to assume that you at least get one serving of fruit with each beer, so it’s good for your health too!*

 *Not a scientific finding. 😉

hardywoodBlackberry

Hardywood Brewing Virginia Blackberry

I love Belgian wheat beers. They are crisp and refreshing and pretty much pair with any type of food. Hardywood adds in some rye and blackberries grown at a local farm to create a pink-ish tinted, tasty beer that I could drink every day.

Photo: Fritz Hahn/The Washington Post

wachusettBlueberry

Wachusett Brewery Blueberry Ale

This is THE

PR Industry Trends

Asturias Sidra – It’s all in the pour!

I have long wanted to write about Asturias, the place of my birth and more specifically about our regional drink: Asturian Sidra (Cider). Photo #1

Asturias is a hidden gem of a region in Spain. It is absolutely stunning.  Snowcapped mountains tower over rolling green pastures dotted with stone houses and terra-cotta roofs. The rugged Cantabric coast line is breath taking. The lush country side edges right up to the sea and is lined with quiet, little fishing villages each with their own unique allure. The culture is warm, friendly and inviting.

Asturias is as authentic as Spain gets, in my unbiased opinion, and history backs me up on this. It’s the one area of Spain which the Moors were unable to conquer, and in fact, it is where they were turned around. As a result, Asturias was able to hold on to it strong Celtic roots: from folklore, mythology, Celtic symbolism, traditional kilts, boisterous bagpipes, thick bean stews (fabada), stinky cheeses that melt in your mouth and a love of camaraderie and meeting up to share sidra with friends at a local sidreria (cider bar).

Branding

Why Everything Tastes Better on Vacation (and what that means for your brand)

photo: highstyllife.com

photo: highstyllife.com

We’ve all had that moment.

While on vacation you eat or drink something that is so transcendentally delicious, it instantly ranks among the best things you’ve ever had. The pleasure is so deep and complete it’s like your taste buds are hard-wired to your very soul. “Do I detect a hint of fresh mint, or is that MDMA? Either way, I want more.”

So you buy up as many cases as you can get through customs, or obsessively hunt down the recipe to recreate it a home. But, despite your best efforts, it’s never quite the same. Sure, it’s good, but it’s not as good as you remember it.

What’s going on here? A temporary insanity of the taste buds?

Well, sort of.

Consider this: In 2008, a group of neuroscientists in California conducted an experiment that shed new light onto how we taste. Twenty volunteers were strapped into an fMRI scanner and given samples of wine. Among them were tastes from a “$10” bottle and a “$90” bottle that, in reality, were the exact same wine. It should come as no shock that the…

PR Industry Trends

Cachaça, Don’t Call it Rum: Learn More About Brazil’s National Spirit 

With temps nearing 100 degrees, a West Village bar invites patrons in for Caipirinhas

Brazil possesses a unique style that effortlessly excites all the senses. We see it in the graceful footwork of Brazilian soccer players shimmying around in bright uniforms. We hear it in the jazzy sounds of Bossa Nova. We feel it as we watch Samba dancers in their exotic costumes. We smell it in the flame-broiled churrasco and chimichurri slowly cooking inside cast-iron skillets. With all of that excitement and flavor, it’s no mystery that Brazil’s staple alcoholic beverage, cachaça, holds that same elegant yet unpretentious fashion and charm. That is what you taste when you sip cachaça, pronounced ka-SHAH-sa, a product of denomination that is typically exclusive of Brazil.

Many call it the Brazilian rum, but that’s pretty far from true. In spite of having a similar “DNA”, rum and cachaça are produced with great differences in method, origins, and flavors. Yes, they’re both derived from sugarcane but the cachaça of Brazil and rum of the Caribbean are not the same spirit.

not rum

Cachaça is a spirit distilled from fermented sugarcane juice, where sugar may be added only up to six grams…

The Booze Bin

Telling the Tale: Two Beverage Brands That Get it Right

Today’s consumers are savvier than ever, with ever-increasing access to their favorite brands via social media. Marketers are tasked with identifying their target customer and developing a strategy that tells the authentic story of their brand. From gender-specific marketing to retelling a historic tale of an iconic brand, below are two examples of beverage brands that tell their story well.

Should brands segment their marketing based on gender? We know that  females account for 55% of American wine drinkers. Additionally, women are directly responsible for over 80% of wine purchases by volume in the US, according to Beverage Media.  If that’s the case, certainly beverage brands want the attention of the female consumer.

The question is not why to market to women, but how?

But, the question is not why to market to women, but how? It’s obvious that marketers want to target women, but one must be careful not to be too kitschy and alienate segments of their female consumer group. Do not underestimate your customer. According to Ed Barden, Director of Marketing at Excelsior Wines, “Women don’t want to bring a stereotype to the table.” Brands like

The Booze Bin

What the wine trade can learn from 2016’s Aspen Food & Wine Classic Trends

Earlier this month, I had the absolute privilege to escape New York City and head to Colorado for the 34th annual Food + Wine Classic in Aspen. Not only did my eyes soak up marvelous mountain vistas, I also had the chance to sample scrumptious snacks and luscious libations. And as a marketing professional, it was also a sneak peek behind the curtain to see what’s new and exciting in the world of wine and food. With over 5,000 epicurean attendees, Danny Myer, CEO of Union Square Hospitality Group explains, “It’s where I find out what my customers will be drinking next year.” So with a wine glass in one hand and a camera in the other, I embarked on a gourmet journey to discover the undeniable trends from the 2016 Food + Wine Classic in Aspen.

ASPEN

Rosé Reigns with diverse audiences

We have already reported that rosé wines are a growing trend in the wine industry, and if you’ve been to a liquor store at all this season, you’ve surely seen more and more rosé lining the shelves. This was certainly the case at the Food +

The Booze Bin

What the wine trade can learn from 2016’s Aspen Food & Wine Classic Trends

Earlier this month, I had the absolute privilege to escape New York City and head to Colorado for the 34th annual Food + Wine Classic in Aspen. Not only did my eyes soak up marvelous mountain vistas, I also had the chance to sample scrumptious snacks and luscious libations. And as a marketing professional, it was also a sneak peek behind the curtain to see what’s new and exciting in the world of wine and food. With over 5,000 epicurean attendees, Danny Myer, CEO of Union Square Hospitality Group explains, “It’s where I find out what my customers will be drinking next year.” So with a wine glass in one hand and a camera in the other, I embarked on a gourmet journey to discover the undeniable trends from the 2016 Food + Wine Classic in Aspen.

ASPEN

Rosé Reigns with diverse audiences

We have already reported that rosé wines are a growing trend in the wine industry, and if you’ve been to a liquor store at all this season, you’ve surely seen more and more rosé lining the shelves. This was certainly the case at the Food +

The Booze Bin

What the wine trade can learn from 2016’s Aspen Food & Wine Classic Trends

Earlier this month, I had the absolute privilege to escape New York City and head to Colorado for the 34th annual Food + Wine Classic in Aspen. Not only did my eyes soak up marvelous mountain vistas, I also had the chance to sample scrumptious snacks and luscious libations. And as a marketing professional, it was also a sneak peek behind the curtain to see what’s new and exciting in the world of wine and food. With over 5,000 epicurean attendees, Danny Myer, CEO of Union Square Hospitality Group explains, “It’s where I find out what my customers will be drinking next year.” So with a wine glass in one hand and a camera in the other, I embarked on a gourmet journey to discover the undeniable trends from the 2016 Food + Wine Classic in Aspen.

ASPEN

Rosé Reigns with diverse audiences

We have already reported that rosé wines are a growing trend in the wine industry, and if you’ve been to a liquor store at all this season, you’ve surely seen more and more rosé lining the shelves. This was certainly the case at the Food +