The Booze Bin

Musings from a PR Booze Mom

I love what I do. I count myself lucky to have found my calling in an industry I adore. I began my experience in booze PR as a singleton, going out, friending mixologists and sommeliers, living it up. Even when I got married, I hit the nightlife, got major media hits for clients, traveled the world and threw some amazing events. Then I had a baby.

Whatever industry you’re in, women who choose to have a career and children are forced to live a double life – they can’t have it all.  We know this; we’ve read this; some, I’m sure, are sick of hearing this. I, for one, am not. Women who split their lives 50/50 soon find themselves dedicating more time to one world over the other, and something has to suffer. I’ve experienced it first-hand.

women have it all

Honestly, I can go off about maternity leave in the U.S., equal pay (thank you Patricia Arquette) or just overall how the country treats mothers (and single parents of any gender). But this is specifically about the booze world.

In booze PR, keeping up with the constant…

The Booze Bin

Sake to Me

280178953_96d0eacdb8_zSimilar to the craft beer trend, sake has become a growing niche market where consumers – specifically millennials are looking for sakes that are high-quality. According to Impact Databank, sake consumption in the United States increased to 3.9 percent to 2.2 million cases in 2013.

Sake growth is also branching outside of traditional Japanese food like sushi and ramen restaurants, and so are pricier variations. In restaurants across the country sakes easily go upwards to $210 for a 720-ml bottle.

If you’ve only tried sake bombs (a beer cocktail where you drop hot sake into a glass of beer) then I challenge you to step outside your comfort zone and give sake a try. Here are a few to get you started:

  • Kurosawa Kim15118924673_1ee2a9f914_zoto Junmai: This full-bodied sake can be served chilled or warmed. It’s floral and fruity aroma mixes apple cobbler, green apple and dried honey.
  • Hakkaisan Tokubestu Junmai: Looking for a sake that is clean, dry and pristine? Then look no further. Fine local water is a key ingredient in this sake, which comes from melted snow and filtered water at Mount Hakkai.
  • Shirakawago
  • Media Relations

    The Secret behind Craft Beer’s Media Success

    When it comes to media darlings, reporters tend to give David (craft beer) more ink than Goliath (Anheuser Busch and the likes). There are many possible explanations for this phenomenon, ranging from “craft beer is more authentic” to “everyone loves the underdog.” Here is my theory: the media loves geeky stories, and craft beer brands happen to have more of them.

    Wastewater Beer

    NPR just announced on its culinary blog “The Salt” that The Oregon Brew Crew and Clean Water Services in Oregon seek approval to collaborate on making the first beer with treated wastewater (yes, you read correctly). The network of home brewers would make small batches of beer to be served at events, not (yet) at a brewery.

    Takeaway for the Big Boys: My educated guess is that a larger brand has more R&D budget than a bunch of home brewers, some even more than a state agency. Think like a start-up when it’s time to decide what research project to fund next. An innovative study will always have a home in a consumer outlet with a passion for science and

    The Booze Bin

    3 lessons learned from a PR wine newbie

    wineAs a virtual stranger to wine PR (but definitely not to wine), getting tossed into the ring was a teensy bit stressful, to say the least. But hey, I don’t mind conducting my research at the liquor store. Definitely beats a library.

    After spending 2014 knee-deep in the industry, I’ve taken away a few glassfuls (get it?) of knowledge to fortify myself for the year to come. While there’s definitely a great deal of knowledge I have yet to gain, here are the top three things I learned:

    1) Making sure a wine brand’s voice is heard in a saturated wine media landscape is a bit tricky. Well, that’s an understatement. Let’s just say it’s tear-inducing.

    Though there are hundreds of wine blogs, columns, magazines, etc., when everyone in the industry is vying for a mention, things get competitive. Though it’s difficult, it’s important to identify the aspects of a wine brand’s identity that make it niche enough to stand out to media, but appealing enough to consumers.

    2) Events are huge in the wine PR industry. Walk-around tastings, wine seminars, press lunches with winemakers… The thing is, there are usually three million of…

    Digital Marketing

    5 booze trends to ban from predictions

    People in booze have been scouring the internet for upcoming trends and predictions in 2015. The only list that caught my attention was Kara Newman’s post on Everything else was the same old boring stuff. It was as though the majority of predictions were just rehashes of previous years. Are people getting lazy? Or is there nothing new?

    Rather than give my predictions, I’m doing something a little different. Here are my top five trends that you ALWAYS see in year-start predictions that need to be banned as they’re NOT trends…

    The Mad Men Effect – OK, old school cocktails are cool. They never really went away, so stop saying they’re back! Since the show’s last season is this year, we also need a better name for this movement. Small Batches are Big – People go ga-ga over artisanal, small batch producers. It makes you feel special that you’re having something so unique. And now that more and more distilleries are popping up around the country, this isn’t going away. The Death of the 3-tier System – This is not happening. This will

    The Booze Bin

    Parker’s Predictions, A Decade Later

    saved my points






    It’s January and that can only mean two things. One, I’m trying to figure out whether to eat a sensible dinner or spend my points on a few glasses of wine instead, and, two, the annual ritual of booze trend forecasts are flooding the interwebs.

    This is nothing new, but it got me thinking. How many of these predictions actually come true? Foreseeing next year’s trends is a challenge, but what about those from a decade from now? Woo-wee! Who would be bold enough to put themselves on the line like that? Robert Parker, that’s who.

    So, let’s see how the “Million-Dollar Nose” fared. Just over a decade ago, Parker put forward a prediction in Food & Wine magazine:

    fw200410_120Robert M. Parker, Jr., the world’s foremost wine guru, makes 12 bold predictions about seismic changes that will influence how we’ll shop, what we’ll buy and how much we’ll pay.

    TWELVE!? That is so crazy, Bob, it’s Italian television crazy. More importantly, it’s way too long for me to prove or disprove in a single blog post and…

    Digital Marketing

    Beyond impressions – key PR metrics for 2015

    The New Year provides new opportunities to do great work for your clients.  In the wine industry, success is measured by the number of cases sold and marketing, sales and PR are ultimately evaluated by how much they contribute to the “bottom line.” At the end of the day, the main question is: How much was sold?

    As communication professionals, we appreciate a good challenge. How PR contributes to sales and how to measure that connection is an evergreen challenge.  A recent PR Newswire survey proved that the most common PR goals are (still) outputs, not outcomes. Who doesn’t want media coverage (an “output” goal), but how do media hits translate to very real outcomes, like web traffic, conversions, sales leads, etc.? PR measurement guru Katie Paine is known for her opinion that “HITS are How Idiots Track Success.” While I wouldn’t go that far, there are great metrics to complement your target number of impressions when creating 2015 goals for your client.

    Earned Media

    A media placement is the result of hard work, but don’t stop at reporting the number of impressions. Observe

    The Booze Bin

    The perfect Gifts to Give to people in Booze PR

    Every year, people struggle with what to get me for the holidays. Personally, I think it’s a no brainer. I work in PR. I enjoy Booze. BOOM. Done. Easy, right? Apparently not. If you know someone or have a loved one who’s into booze and not sure what to get for Hanukkah, Kwanza or Christmas, check this out…

    DIY and Liquor – Gin is a great gift, majority of people love it and like to experiment – why not get a DIY gin kit?! gin kitCold Wine and Other Gadgets – I love the Corksicle – it’s a genius idea I wish I had invented. And, what’s even cooler, the company has come up with tons of additional ways to chill your libation.corksicle

    Fancy Beer Drinkers – Spiegelau is a wonderful glass company, part of Riedel Crystal, and as someone who used to work with them, I can vouch for the quality glassware. Spiegelau has now come out with some awesome Craft Beer Glasses that allow for optimum enjoyment. glasses

    The Booze Bin

    Top Wine Blog Posts of 2014

    The year is coming to a close, bringing on that wild urge to come up with another ‘Best Of’ wine blog list. I just can’t help myself.

    Below are some recommendations from my favorite, go-to wine blogger buddies (read: nerds) of their favorite blog posts of the year, and a few of my own. Hopefully, you have a little downtime around the holidays to catch up on these goodies from the past year.

    Happy reading!

    Thea Dwelle, Luscious Lushes

    Long-time wine blogger (7 ½ years) and funny gal pal, Thea had this to say when asked which blog she loved from 2014:

                      Bill Eyer’s recent post on “Are Wine Blogs Dead?” really resonated with me as one of the few people that have been blogging for 6+ years. He hit the nail on the head with reasons that we step away, or take a break, and had fresh ideas to re-inspire – all because of his own struggles.

    Paul Mabray, VinTank

    Clearly Paul of VinTank, Napa’s wine think tank, follows a solid lineup of blogs, as his favorite list was LONG. A few of note:

    PR Industry Trends

    Top 3 Beverage Alcohol Trends for 2015

    It’s not even December, yet the web is already buzzing with predictions on what’s hot in the wine and spirits industry in 2015. Maybe someone took their cue from Walmart, which started selling Holiday decorations the day after Halloween.

    Like it or not, trend reports, much like holiday decorations, no longer wait for sweater weather. Jumping on the band wagon, here are three emerging beverage trends for 2015.

    The Boilermaker Celebrates a Comeback

    In 2015, craft cocktails will share the spotlight with simpler, more straight-forward drinks, such as a shot and a beer, known as a “boilermaker.” Case in point, The New York Times recently published a full-page feature on the classic pairing. Some of these pairings are the usual cheap-whiskey-and-cheaper-beer marriages one expects, but more sophisticated duos are making their way into bars across the country.

    Wine Pairings Go East

    Asian food will continue to be a huge trend next year, so think about how to educate your audience on clever pairings for your alcohol beverage brands. For the best pairings with Ramen noodles, Vietnamese Pho and Korean street food-inspired grub, Wine