good grape daily: pomace & lees free run: field notes from a wine life around the wine blogosphere wine: a business doing pleasure good grape wine reviews new world influences red wine wine white wine wine blog news robert parker wine bloggers notes & dusty bottle items wine sediments wine business wine blogs historical wine book excerpts tasting safari: wines you can buy online cluetrain manifesto revisited winecast: a year in collaboration wine spectator wine blogger robert mondavi wine marketing indy food & wine vinography vin de napkin appellation watch: midwest regional review new vine logistics alice feiring wine blogging dr. vino tom wark natural wine gary vaynerchuk wine critics american wine blog awards wine reviews cameron hughes wine books luxury wine biodynamic wine best wine bloggers a really goode job california wine robert mondavi day robert mondavi winery fermentation blog penner-ash wine research wine ratings fred franzia tyler colman steve heimoff oregon pinot noir wall street journal wine best wine blogs wine writers bordeaux wine enthusiast sparkling wine wine and the economy wine distribution terry theise wine.com allocated wine biodynamics reading between the wines wine news the wine makers tv inniskillin hr 5034 oregon bounty rodney strong oregon cuisinternship wine advertising wine review jim laube wine ethics three dolla koala sonoma pinot noir appellation america gourmet magazine wine market council open that bottle night zinfandel rockaway wine online winery marketing wine trends lynn penner-ash wine advocate sommelier journal good grape augmented reality hugh macleod rockaway vineyards pinot noir crushpad wine cellartracker dan berger amazon.com southern wine & spirits 100-pt scale grape stories mike steinberger church wine wine & spirits magazine wine tasting notes vintank silver oak trader joe's wine wine and spirits daily matt kramer champagne indiana wine slender wine murphy-goode winery direct-to-trade notre dame football stormhoek inertia beverage group wine technology sutter home videos inexpensive wine jay miller keep walking wines that rock steve perry aussie wine glut clary ranch pinot noir john tyler wine wine economy mary ewing-mulligan non-profits and wine ebob bodeans mitch schwartz hourglass cabernet italian wine merchant dependable wine wine blogosphere ge smart grid augmented reality trefethen family vineyards california zinfandel wineshopper aspirational marketing clark smith wine book publishing russian river valley ani difranco peru wine trip barbaresco michael steinberger value wine jamie oliver paul blart: mall cop phillip armenier red bicyclette pinot noir australian wine vinexpo jay mcinerney the gaslight anthem the pioneer woman james laube sylvester pinot noir goodguide korbel wine blobbers oregon travel tokalon winery not-for-profit jess jackson massale selection wine & spirits magazines kenny shopsin next generation apple the psychology of wine the vintners art sunbox eleven wine winery sponsorship champagne sales wine criticism cork'd 2008 vina mar reserva sauvignon blanc randy caparoso wine + music midwest wine culture chimney rock elevage cornell enology wine tycoon game stavin kelly fleming national wine & spirits kurt andersen " "new world wine" poseurs macari vineyards sette 7 swanson vineyards generation y and wine 2009 auction napa valley sonoma county wine wipes san francisco wine competition clary ranch tim hanni hunningbird wine beaux freres jon bonne the wine case climber white agency nil charlie weis sugar free wine a very goode job 2007 sean minor four bears pinot noir trefethen three-tier carmenere wine heist purpose-idea rose wine sales vincellar dominic foppoli discoveries pathfinder wine bar bets the winemakers tv australia wine fantesca judgment of paris women in wine oregon pinot gris vegas wine qpr wines jimmy clausen winery hospitality 2007 forty-five north cabernet franc alpine for dummies 2008 honig sauvignon blanc 1% for the planet wine industry news negociant wine business monthly 2008 food & wine winemaker of the year eric asimov travel oregon jordan winery amy poehler wine micro sites umami chris phelps wine blogging ethics youtube cheap wine wine bard weds wine dj journey three dollar koala pinot noir reviews chronicle wine ed mccarthy wine to relax erobertparker little zagreb wine magazines howard schultz paul mabray paul gregutt trefethen oak knoll cabernet sauvignon zinfandel reviews tasting note desciptors natural winemaking wine content klinker brick maria thun bad wine mumm napa slate wine columnist wine pricing wine blog awards 2010 bottle shock movie sketches of spain red bicyclette court wine purchasing wine nose good wine under 20 the hold steady paste magazine sensory evaluation petite sirah wine points the press-democrat oregon cuisinternship winner blog contests preakness stakes pork tenderloins wine & spirits restaurant poll 2010 eat me kenny shopsin amazon kindle wine politics what is terroir e-myth revisited bennett lane winery champagne and business a history of wine words marco capelli music + wine indianapolis patz & hall sonoma coast pinot noir notes on a cellar book wine tycoon video game oak alternatives cabernet bottle shock economy chronicle wines vignoles wine columns mirror wine joe roberts obama napa valley auction sonoma county wine french wine marketing vino chapeau wine medal winners petaluma pinot wine industry zap wine jr. san francisco chronicle wine ice wine c.g. di arie radiohead doubleback wine chateau thomas wine parker defamation blackstone wine trefethen fallow wine snobs wine is the new black expensive wine will hoge wine spies gapingvoid rose summer wine corkd foppoli wines tamari torrontes dirty south wine firestone contest doug frost whuffie factor wine reality show wine label design duane hoff resveratrol woman in wine organic wineries oregon bellagio wine the wine blue book conundrum winery customer service julie and julia texas for dummies wine collection shorttrack ceo vintage of the decade markham mark of distinction sonoma wine company spike your juice celia masyczek jim koch pinot main street winery obama wine digital signage wine retail the fifth taste dominus wine direct shipping wine humor altar wine good wine livingston cellars persimmon creek vineyards liberty school cabernet sauvignon german wine oh westside road scott becker randall grahm party of five theme song wine spectator restaurant awards zig ziglar drvino.com pbs john trefethen elliot essman wine intelligence research steroids in baseball publishing trends wine laws biodynamic wine health research 2007 waters crest "night watch" late harvest wine clif bar wine cheap wines rick mirer indiana miss america lewis perdue facebook + wine millenials and wine penner ash deb harkness cowboy mouth wine evaluation dark & delicious biod alpana singh dos equis commercials wine and sense of smell tim mondavi rachel alexandra 500 things to eat before it's too late wine & spirits guinness beer 2006 brancott pinot noir wine public relations professional culinary institute adobe road the the lost symbol wine stories wine 2.0 schotts micellany hugh johnson alloutwine cooper's hawk winery triple bottom line jim gordon kelly fleming wine mike hengehold traminette wine mobile applications rick mirer wine wine blogging tips john hughes '47 cheval blanc bordeaux reconquest santasti kevin zraly paul clary sweet wines zinfandel producers california wine for dummies best wine blog us wine sales dessert wine di arie rose napa cab. napa cabernet amazon wine constellation wine washington wine thomas pellechia wine spectator top 100 2009 cinderella wine deck wine lindsay ronga batgirl wine top chef hardy wallace firestone wine contest burger wine lonely island where the hell is matt southern gothic wine food revolution french paradox dark side of the rainbow gallo barack obama + wine sanford pinot noir rombauer digital marketing obama inauguration michael ruhlman wine spectator wine reviews karadeci the business of wine iphone wine mobile apps winery promotions whole foods wine first blush juice cult cabernet boston beer company trinchero wine tasting rooms viktor frankl chateau petrus 100 point system vineyard church communion wine mark squires wine and music scheurebe sherry wine tycoon healdsburg terroir wine branding global wine partners wine terroir southern wine and spirits wine lists adam strum tinybottles core wine drinkers janet trefethen bruce reizenman luxury wine marketing wall street journal wine columnists "frankenwine" wine authors nbwa old vine zinfandel cluetrain manifesto down under by crane lake unified symposium jackson-triggs vidal ice wine clif winery name your own price mirror wine company indiana gourmet food allocated cabernet the wine line wine pr wineamerica wine wisdom lewin's equation 1winedude chacha rudolf steiner wine expedition fat tire beer mothervine supplements continuum texas bbq wine pairing prince's hot chicken king estate guinness advertising 2007 stoneleigh pinot noir wine certification the traveling vineyard wine and art jason kroman alloutwine.com wine mou hess collection wine social media expensive wine trends wines and vines kelly fleming cabernet the new yorker ted lemon whyte horse winery iphone wine apps. palate press wine blogging strategies johnnie walker chateau latour planet bordeaux sherry wine paul clary blog gracianna wine wine cartoons alan goldfarb fusebox wine moms who need wine ted jansen hourglass wine murphy-goode wine trading down dip social media topps augmented reality rancho zabaco zinfandel woot wine the new frugality patio wine bryan q. miller argentina wine zephyr adventures barolo santana dvx au revoir to all that formula business ordinance .wine geocaching brigitte armenier rockaway wine red bicyclette new zealand wine sanford chardonnay lettie teague nba liquor advertising noble pig award of excellence ericca robinson andy warhol quotes fermentation anthony dias blue home winemaking consumer shopping research the best pinot noir food & wine magazine a year in wine apple iphone man's search for meaning st. helena catholic church bruliam wine generation y. wine april fool's day wine snooth karen macneil music and wine german riesling secret sherry society cult wines wine video game russian river valley pinot wine appellations reset "old world wine darwinism wine star awards tastingroom.com wine sales hailey trefethen park avenue catering fine wine marketing wine tasting journal wine competitions national beer wholesalers association clos lachance dr. oz yellow tail wine jon fredrikson wine blogging wednesday climber red priceline.com drew bledsoe amazon.com wine california cabernet paso robles wines of chile specialty wine retailers association judd's hill rose wine recession wine wine & spirits daily firestone vineyards wine trivia robert parker's bitch eryn supple the grateful palate heidi barrett john james dufour america eats willamette valley disney wine program value wines brand butlers american wine blogs forty-five north winery wine press release hong kong u.s. wine 2006 hess collection monterey chardonnay adler fels wines & vines kelly fleming interview the pour oregon food and wine dan cederquist parks and recreation wine umami swanson alexis cabernet
February 28 2006
That is to say, I grew up completely naive that wine was anything other then the Cold Duck in my Grandma’s fridge next to the Mountain Dew’s.
When I graduated from college, having been in a Midwestern middle-class kind of sensory deprivation I decided that I needed to figure out two things if I wanted my ambition to meet a kind reality—learn how to golf and learn about wine.
My golf game stinks, and still stinks some 10 years later.
But, wine, on the other hand, that was something I could get better at. If only they had some classes in school to help set you on the right path ... correct the error of my parents way ...
CIO Magazine has an article on just such a place.
Knowing which wine to order at a corporate dinner is one skill that canhelp a CIO distinguish himself as a businessperson and save him fromsocial embarrassment. "When you’re asked to smell the cork, you need tobe able to do that without looking like a geek," says Jeff Connery, awine lover and CIO of two Canadian banks: Envision Financial inLangley, British Columbia, and First Calgary Savings in Calgary. NotesConnery, "CIOs are not just computer people anymore. They are dealingwith boards, other executives and clients. Knowing about wine roundsout one’s business character."
But, before I go anything further, let me note that I did a Google search to see if anybody else was running a story based on this press release and found none. If you are a P.R. professional are you chagrined that the only magazine that picks up your release is the email newsletter for CIO magazine? Yeah, I would be.
And, if you’re of Executive timber and on the Board of a Bank and you cannot small talk your way out of a wine conversation with another blowhard, may God be with you.
I digress, the University of California, Irvine has just announced new continuing education course credits for the busy executive that wants to use wine as a business tool. Classes include:
Wine Basics 101
You have the Wine List, Now What?
Interactive Blind Wine Tasting: Team Building
Entertaining your Multi-cultural client: Wine as a Business Tool
CEO/Executive Round table
Developing Your Home Wine Cellar
This was really funny to me, and reeks of Prof’s that have been holed up doing too much research to try and publish an article to put on their C.V. for that year on the way to tenure after which they can be really mean to a freshman that actually thought his education was going to happen in the classroom.
Before I get too cynical, check out the site and see if their other course offerings are of interest, what with BOTH connoisseurship AND yoga being offered ...
February 28 2006
The New York Times reports today that porn star Savana Samson is releasing a wine called Sogno Uno.
Samson is a Vivid Girl, the Major Leagues of the porn industry and is looking at her foray as a vintner as a career move for after her porn career dies down.
This is kind of like the NFL player that auditions on air when his team is eliminated from the playoffs and he’s got one more year on his contract ... kind of like that, but better.
But, here’s the kicker ... Robert Parker (whose reviews Good Grape institutionally ignores unless it makes for a good blog post) gave her wine a rating of 90 - 91.
This effectively means that besides the novelty factor, Parker’s score along will send droves of slobbering men to snatch up the initial 400 case or so bottling.
In an interview with the New York Times by telephone, Parker said without irony "It was really opulent and luscious and it had a personality."
Mrs. Samson (yes, she’s married) had this to say: "This wine will make you think"
February 28 2006
My wife is a huge Harry Potter fan and bought one of Jelly’s Belly’s Harry Potter gift sets at a Border’s when one of the recent books came out. I was fascinated and disgusted at the flavors that were included ... ear eax, bacon, booger ... and, just in case you think it might be a ruse and the Jelly Bean’s actually taste like artificially flavored Tropical Punch, no so fast. They actually taste uncannily what your mind’s eye would have the flavor taste like. I say mind’s eye because nobody is going to cop to knowing what a booger tastes like.
I did taste the vomit and sure enough, it was so gross, I had to spit it out after two chews. Think of the smell in the hallway in grade school with the institutional kitty litter soaking up the mess.
That notwithstanding, Wine X Magazine, in a moment of inspiration has created the Jelly Bean Wine Bar Kit.
I love this idea. And, the flavors are true enough to life that I think it really could be a tool for education. The Wine Aroma Wheel was created in 1990 by Ann C. Noble—a professor at UC Davis, if I’m not mistaken.
In essence, this is a tool to enhance your wine tasting enjoyment by refining your ability to uncover the nuance in wine aroma’s—we smell more then we actually taste with our olfactory glands really being the key to our taste buds.
Since then, scores of people have done imitations and close approximations to this thinking. Then Joshua Wesson created a new categorization for wine at his Best Cellars and that similarly is being widely copied in an adaptive sense.
This is all good for wine and wine education, but the Wine bar kit is so genius in its simplicity.
Really, all you have to do is find a tasting note of a wine that you have on hand, taste the Jelly bean and sniff the wine—and that’s if you want to get that complicated. You could really just refine this palate technique by just eating the candy.
I ordered a couple to give it a try—picking of the Chardonnay, the Zinfandel and the Deloach Pinot Noir.
There’s no vomit, but in the Deloach (a sponsor) Pinot Noir, there is pepper, cappuccino, Dr. Pepper and a pinch of dirt.
Simply put, this would be a crowd-pleaser of a game at your next soiree and is really a novel "A Ha" kind of idea.
Now, if only, I could be so lavish in praise for Wine X the magazine—the simple fact is, they are in a sweet spot for coverage of wine to a young audience, but they can’t publish their damn magazine. I subscribed for an annual subscription about 14 months ago and have only received two copies. Now, I see they are pimpin’ 8 issues a year in a promotion. The magazine is painfully pretentious in its unpretentiousness, but I hold out hope that they’ll get it figured out what with 70 million Gen. Y folks coming of age. And, they also tend to include recipes from the Surreal Gourmet, who had a Food Network or HGTV show for a cup of coffee. That guy is annoying, but, thankfully, in a magazine format you can turn the page.
Buy and try the Wine Bar kit, you’ll appreciate the fun factor.
February 19 2006
Wine at retail is usually marked-up 30-50%. In some cases where significant buying leverage can be had, or the retailer is a giant (like Sam’s Club) the mark-up is lower and the consumer can find a bargain.
Wine On-Premise (at a restaurant or a bar) is usually marked up 300% To use a familiar frame of reference—furniture is also usually marked up 300%. Why this is, I’m not sure. But, nonetheless, a good gauge for wine at a restaurant is to see how much it costs per glass because 8 times out of 10 the cost of a glass of wine for you will equal the buying cost of the bottle for the restaurant.
So, last night while having a quartino of Pinot Noir for $11.50 (three servings from a bottle) instead of 4 for a glass, I wanted to do some quick math and look at a topic near and dear to my heart, restaurant prices for wine.
When I came home I checked the retail price of the bottle for which I just paid $11.50 for a quartino and it was selling for $45 a bottle. It was selling for $9.50 a glass.
Come to find out it can be found online from $16.99 to $19.99 a bottle. This isn’t bad. It means that by restaurant standards, I wasn’t getting completely robbed.
Let’s assume that their buying price for the wine was $12.00 a bottle at wholesale cost—this maps loosely to a $18 retail price. By virtue of this, I paid for the bottle (save for .50 cents), but the larger deal was had if you bought the bottle that under the 300% mark-up model would have made the bottle $48, and not the relative bargain it was at $45. Or, by the glass at $9.50 which was under the wholesale cost.
Now, I’m being relatively generous in my description of all of this because at the end of the day I really think this is all bullshit. Wine in restaurants is ripe for a Freakonomics treatment whereby the fallacy of this pricing model ceases to stop making any sense.
To wit, instead of buying a bottle for $45, my wife and I each bought a quartino—her’s as $10.50, mine was $11.50 and then I subsequently bought another glass of a different wine for $9.00. So, if you assume that a bottle is 4 glasses and a quartino is 1.5 glasses, then we consumed a bottle of wine. But, the total cost for that pieced out bottle of wine was $31 dollars.
And, what I really wanted to do was have a bottle that we both could enjoy ... but there’s a buying barrier to overly expensive wine.
Now, the unexplored topic here is for people that aren’t nearly as into wine as I am—of which there are a great deal. I would like for a restaurant to drop prices to normal mark-up levels for a month.
Wine ranconteur and brainchild behind Trader Joe’s has suggested the same in a Wine Business Monthly article:
Franziawonders why other wineries don’t follow his lead and introducelower-cost wines, and he said even wine patriarch (and relative) Ernest Gallo complained that he’s selling wines too cheaply. "They’re afraid consumers will get used to the prices," said Franzia.
Franziais leading a virtual crusade for less expensive wines. Few restaurantsfeature his wines, and he fumes that they won’t sell wines at lowmarkups. "If they sold wine cheaper, everyone’s food would tastebetter," he pointed out. "Until they do, America is never going to be awine-drinking nation."
He doesn’t add that he’d be a likely beneficiary if the restaurants more sold inexpensive wine.
Franziachallenges restaurants to sell decent wines at $10 per bottle, and hasbeen seeking a major restaurant chain to partner with his company muchas Trader Joe’s did at retail. "The Charles Shaw project made TraderJoe’s a destination retailer for wine; a restaurant chain should beable to do the same," he said
Sofar, however, Franzia has been unsuccessful in signing up a majorrestaurant chain for his wines, a process Gallo and some otherproducers have done well.
Healso seems mystified that more groceries don’t emulate Trader Joe’s."How can any major grocery chain not have a wine that competes with TwoBuck Chuck?," he asked.
I am hard pressed to believe that at the end of the month, with some suggestive marketing wrapped around the pricing action that a restaurant wouldn’t see equal to or significantly greater wine sales, excellent word of mouth and longer-term increased sales.
Econ 101 and market economics whereby we allocate our resources in the most efficient means possible tells me this has to be the case.
But, alas, I suspect that the coming wine boom with Generation Y will soon change these practices. Our younger brethern haven’t gotten to the point where they enjoy a nice dinner over the club, but when they do you’re either going to see a hasty increase in corkage programs or a steady retreat in on-premise pricing. Let’s hope it’s actually both.
February 19 2006
Because so much wine (virtually all of it) is decided upon at the point of purchase or by somebody else’s subjective opinion and/or sales copy, you would think that merchandising would be a lot stronger at retail. It’s not. Trader Joe’s does about the best job that I’ve seen and are rewarded for it based on the amount of wine that flies off the shelf there.
But, the other phenomena is the voice of the critic.
The movie business is very similar to wine on a lot of levels.
There’s an over-abdundance of movies coming to market, and by consequence there’s a lot of marketing spent on movies to maximize an opening day weekend—trailers, pre-screenings, etc all contribute to the relative success or failure of a movie.
How many of us read reviews in the entertainment section of the newspaper before deciding which of the three new movies that are coming out this weekend are going to earn our $9? Based on the review of one or more of the movies, you can go through a process of elimination and decide on a movie.
Similar to this, when buying a bottle at the store, you are faced with a lot of choices, and generally you are shopping within a defined price category. Usually, consumers go in with a price pre-disposition—i.e. you won’t buy a $25 bottle if you have $12.99 in your head. You will buy two $12.99 bottles though (interesting the rationalizations we make for ourself).
So, at the store you are looking for a red wine in the $12.99 category that appeals to you—maybe its a label, some familiarity with the winery, a tasting note that resonates with you or a rating. Yes, a rating. "Look this has notes of cherry a hint of oak and is rated 89 by Robert Parker" ...or
Wine Enthusiast or a similar magazine or rating venue.
All things considered equal, we don’t normally trust our own taste, so you’re more likely to buy the wine that was reviewed then if there was nothing to aid in the purchase decision.
You get the bottle home and it’s totally not a wine you enjoy. You like a subtle Pinot Noir, but this is a very bold Zinfandel. But, somehow it must be good because somebody else liked it and gave it an 89.
The same can be said for movies. We may have passed on a great movie in order to see the one that Ebert gave a thumbs up to, or vice versa. Maybe the movies a dog, or thematically isn’t something that’s up your alley, but, again, it must be okay because a reviewer said it was good.
At the end of the day, I think we’d all be a little bit better off if we spent time working on what makes us unique and not what makes us uniquely consumers.
On a separate note, check out Mark Cuban’s Blog (Blog Mavrick) for a post on how he is re-inventing the movie business. See is there isn’t some parallel to the movie business and the wine industry—two areas again where there is too much product for consumers to consume without great fragmentation.