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 robert mondavi wine blogger wine marketing indy food & wine vin de napkin vinography new vine logistics alice feiring wine blogging dr. vino appellation watch: midwest regional review tom wark natural wine gary vaynerchuk american wine blog awards wine critics wine reviews cameron hughes wine books luxury 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 best wine bloggers biodynamic wine a really goode job california wine wine news reading between the wines rodney strong the wine makers tv inniskillin hr 5034 oregon bounty oregon cuisinternship wine advertising wine review jim laube wine ethics gourmet magazine three dolla koala sonoma pinot noir appellation america rockaway wine market council open that bottle night zinfandel wine online lynn penner-ash winery marketing wine trends sommelier journal wine advocate rockaway vineyards good grape augmented reality hugh macleod pinot noir crushpad wine cellartracker dan berger amazon.com southern wine & spirits 100-pt scale grape stories wine & spirits magazine mike steinberger church wine wine tasting notes vintank wine and spirits daily silver oak trader joe's wine indiana wine matt kramer champagne slender wine direct-to-trade murphy-goode winery wine technology notre dame football stormhoek inertia beverage group wine enthusiast bordeaux sparkling wine wine and the economy wine distribution terry theise wine.com biodynamics allocated wine 2008 food & wine winemaker of the year eric asimov travel oregon jordan winery amy poehler wine micro sites umami chris phelps 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 little zagreb wine magazines howard schultz paul mabray 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 mumm napa slate wine columnist wine pricing wine blog awards 2010 bottle shock movie sketches of spain red bicyclette court paul gregutt trefethen oak knoll cabernet sauvignon zinfandel reviews tasting note desciptors natural winemaking wine content klinker brick maria thun bad wine preakness stakes pork tenderloins wine & spirits restaurant poll 2010 eat me kenny shopsin amazon kindle wine politics what is terroir 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 chronicle wines vignoles wine columns mirror wine joe roberts 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 ice wine c.g. di arie radiohead doubleback wine chateau thomas wine parker defamation blackstone wine trefethen fallow 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 resveratrol woman in wine organic wineries oregon 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 celia masyczek jim koch pinot main street winery obama wine digital signage wine retail the fifth taste dominus 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 party of five theme song wine spectator restaurant awards zig ziglar drvino.com 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 2007 waters crest "night watch" late harvest wine clif bar wine cheap wines rick mirer indiana miss america lewis perdue pbs john trefethen elliot essman wine intelligence research steroids in baseball publishing trends wine laws biodynamic wine health research rachel alexandra 500 things to eat before it's too late wine & spirits guinness beer 2006 brancott pinot noir wine public relations 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 mike hengehold traminette wine mobile applications rick mirer wine wine blogging tips 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 dessert wine di arie rose napa cab. napa cabernet amazon wine constellation wine washington wine 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 french paradox dark side of the rainbow gallo 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 cult cabernet boston beer company trinchero wine tasting rooms viktor frankl chateau petrus 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 southern wine and spirits wine lists adam strum tinybottles 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 jackson-triggs vidal ice wine clif winery name your own price mirror wine company indiana gourmet food allocated cabernet the wine line 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 texas bbq wine pairing prince's hot chicken king estate guinness advertising 2007 stoneleigh pinot noir wine pr wineamerica wine wisdom lewin's equation 1winedude chacha rudolf steiner wine expedition fat tire beer mothervine supplements continuum the new yorker ted lemon whyte horse winery iphone wine apps. palate press wine blogging strategies 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 ted jansen hourglass wine murphy-goode wine trading down dip johnnie walker chateau latour planet bordeaux sherry wine paul clary blog gracianna wine wine cartoons alan goldfarb fusebox wine moms who need wine .wine geocaching brigitte armenier rockaway wine red bicyclette 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 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 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 darwinism wine star awards tastingroom.com 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 wine blogging wednesday climber red priceline.com drew bledsoe amazon.com wine california cabernet paso robles 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 john james dufour america eats willamette valley 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 kelly fleming interview the pour oregon food and wine dan cederquist parks and recreation wine umami swanson alexis cabernet 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 bodeans mitch schwartz hourglass cabernet italian wine merchant dependable wine 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 value wine jamie oliver paul blart: mall cop phillip armenier red bicyclette pinot noir 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 winery not-for-profit jess jackson massale selection wine & spirits magazines kenny shopsin next generation apple the psychology of wine the vintners art australian wine vinexpo jay mcinerney the gaslight anthem the pioneer woman james laube sylvester pinot noir goodguide korbel wine blobbers oregon travel tokalon poseurs macari vineyards sette 7 swanson vineyards 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" the wine case climber white agency nil charlie weis sugar free wine a very goode job 2007 sean minor four bears pinot noir trefethen 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 judgment of paris women in wine oregon pinot gris three-tier carmenere wine heist purpose-idea rose wine sales vincellar dominic foppoli discoveries pathfinder wine bar bets the winemakers tv australia wine fantesca
January 31 2011
After earnest (albeit sporadic) reading since early December, I finished Vertical, Rex Pickett’s book sequel to Sideways, this past week. To say it’s a wine-soaked Bacchanalian romp is an understatement akin to saying Screaming Eagle wine is “kind of” expensive.
While I won’t review the book formally because I don’t possess the bona fides to critique fiction, suffice to say that “ambivalence” is how I would describe my feelings about it. However, in that ambivalence I should note that I’m going to read it again – I’m just persnickety enough that I can’t invest time in something without walking away with a definitive opinion. A re-read on my part should give the impression that my initial take is leaning towards, “Glass half full.”
Vertical leaves a couple of doors open for a third book to round out a trilogy, and like other sequels that try to capture lightening in a bottle (no pun intended) a second time, the story does amp up Miles and Jack’s hijinks AND the wine references.
There are A LOT of wine references…
As Pickett says on his Author’s Note page, “No winery or winemaker or anyone in the wine trade (in) any capacity influenced the wines or wineries that appear in Vertical. As part of my research for Vertical I held several large tastings with non-wine professionals and solicited their opinions. The wines that appear are a result of those and other efforts, and were picked as appropriate for the characters and the story. Please celebrate the hard work and achievements of all vignerons in the spirit of the Vertical journey.”
Given the impact Sideways has had on the wine world I thought it would be fun to point out the wines that Miles, Jack and others drink in the book. This is not a comprehensive list; many other wines were mentioned, but only glancingly. The wines I’ve listed below all figure into Vertical as name-checked plot detail from Miles. The links for each wine go to either the winery or retail where the wines can be purchased and I’ve added the retail price for those scanning.
A nearly complete list of wines from the book Vertical
Alma Rosa Chardonnay (No vintage mentioned) | $19 - $28
Justin Vineyards and Winery Isoceles (No vintage mentioned) | $62
1999 Domaine Carneros Vintage Brut | $24.99
Steele Chardonnay Dupratt Vineyard (No vintage mentioned) | $26
2008 Ayoub Pinot Noir | $52
2009 Harper Voit Strandline Pinot Noir | Price N/A
Soter Sparkling Brut Rosé (No vintage mentioned) | $48
Amity Vineyards Late Harvest Gewurztraminer (No vintage mentioned) | $15
WillaKenzie Estate Pinot Gris (No vintage mentioned) | $19.99
Raptor Ridge Pinot Noir (No vintage mentioned) | $35
Anne Amie Pinot Noir (No vintage mentioned) | $35
1996 Gevrey-Chambertin Grand Cru Clos de Bèze | $155 avg. / auction
January 29 2011
Odds and ends from a life lived through the prism of the wine glass …
At the 6th annual presentation of U.S. wine consumer trends given by the Wine Market Council (WMC) at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City on January 25, 2011, President John Gillespie said everything and said nothing when pressed about “What should wineries do” in regards to Millenials and marketing. Gillespie noted in response to the query, “It’s so complicated. But, you can’t ignore it. Or, you ignore it at your own peril.”
With that, wineries everywhere heaved a labored sigh. “Complicated” is right and “Ignore” is exactly what I think is happening.
“Twenty something’s.” “Generation Y.” “Millenials.” “Social media.” By now, these are titular reference points that I suspect most people are sick of hearing about, joining me in phraseology weariness.
It’s nothing personal; I grow weary of other phrases that collapse under the weight of cultural overuse, too. The next time I hear somebody say, “Thrown under the bus” I’m going to gather them up by the shirt collar and throw them in front of, well, the next passing bus… In addition, the irony is that for all of the so-called, “Sense of entitlement” that Millennial’s possess, our information culture has done a good job of making this generation feel like they are special by constantly keeping them in the headlines, particularly with the use of social media as some sort of marketing elixir (note: I didn’t use the overused phrase, “Silver bullet”).
Despite the omnipresent awareness of Millenials and social media, after having spent a couple of days in New York City this week at the Vino 2011 conference, I can’t help but point out that my sense of Millenial marketing, social media and the wine business writ large is that people have tuned out—just as I’ve reasonably tuned out, as well.
I sense that most producers in the global industry played out in the U.S. know that Millenials are important to the future of wine; they know that Millenials have taken to wine, yet they don’t sense the imperative and they really don’t know what to do to appeal to this youngest generation. And, of course, my sense of the situation is compounded by the fact that producers have been beaten to a bloody nub with the importance of Millenial marketing from the braying pundits who don’t have proverbial, “Skin in the game.”
In this case, it feels almost like a reverse case of the Preacher’s Kid – or “PK” in a Midwestern abbreviated colloquialism. As a strict parent if you tell the PK over and over that drinking, smoking and screwing is awful and horrible, the kids are going to do it out of defiance. Played out in the wine industry, a placid lull seems to have taken place whereby a non-focus on Millenials is manifest almost as a narcoleptic rebellion against conventional wisdom.
While I have the luxury of selective attention because I work in digital marketing by profession and can select what’s important to me based on what project I’m working on, the wine business has no such luxury regarding this key demographic.
Two elements brought this topic of Millenials, social media and the wine business back to front and center for me, giving me a, pardon the indelicacy, a “Holy shit” moment.
First, I was doing research in advance of my participation on a panel about Millenials and digital marketing when I ran across some astounding statistics from the Pew Research Center.
If reading through the technology adoption habits of the generations in the Generations 2010 research report released in December of last year doesn’t shake a wine marketer into a moment of despair when compared against their slate marketing plan tactics then I don’t know what will.
To wit, according to Pew, 95% of Millenials are online (the greatest percentage of any generation), 83% use a social network, and they lead in every category related to online usage.
As internet analyst Charlene Li has noted, “Social networks will be like air.”
The other key moment was information presented by Gillespie at the aforementioned Wine Market Council annual research review, co-presented with Danny Brager from Nielsen.
Unfortunately, in their finite discretion, the WMC chose not to provide a copy of the entire presentation, instead offering a peculiar abbreviated hard copy, leaving the meaty elements out of the distribution at the invitation only event. Despite the Three Stooges eye poke to the attendee’s, I did scribe some really critical statistics that should make any wine marketer sit up straight in their chair and adjust their somnambulistic gaze into focus with alacrity.
1) In 2010, wine represented the 3rd fastest growing consumer packaged good
2) Throughout the recession, Millenials have demonstrated the most consumer confidence of any generation
3) 91% of wine by volume is drunk by core wine drinkers
4) 51% of Millenials are core wine drinkers!!
5) 25% of wine consumed by Millenials costs $20 +
6) Of a total population of 71 million, 16M Millenials have yet to come of age
So, taken together, the fact that Millenials, essentially, live online, 1 in 2 is a “core” wine drinker, 1 in 4 bottles they purchase is over $20 and about 23% of them have yet to become 21, I would say that the implications are clear.
Get ye online, and get yourself in front of Millenials or, as Gillespie says with a paucity of detail, “Ignore it at your own peril.”
January 27 2011
A quick post before I catch up on writing this weekend. I give to you the worse press release in the history of press releases:
Lawyers and wine country go together as well as “kids and guns” and “pickles and ice cream.”
January 24 2011
Odds and ends from a life lived through the prism of the wine glass …
It has been two years since I’ve been to New York City, a jaunt I like to make at least once a year in order to get my dosage from the city that hooks people like a drug – the energy, the culture, the food, the global village 13.4 miles long and 2.3 miles wide.
The first time I visited, I stayed at a Best Western near Madison Square Garden where I was greeted by a homeless guy sitting Indian style on the sidewalk vomiting in his lap. If that wasn’t jarring enough, a cockroach acted as my bellhop scurrying in front of me as I walked down the hallway to my room the size of a postage stamp. 15 years hence, the accommodations have gotten better.
As I write this, I’m ensconced in my hotel room at the Waldorf Astoria drinking the 2007 Donkey & Goat Syrah from Fenaughty Vineyard (a fan-freakin-tastic wine, but I’ll bet cab fare to LaGuardia that the wine is on the high end of the 1% latitude producers get from the TTB on alcohol labeling, this one is defined on the label as 14.1% abv). For what it’s worth, I think Lioco and Donkey & Goat are two of the most exciting young producers in California. And, it should be noted they have much in common from an ethos perspective ...
You can watch the panel I’ll be speaking on streamed live on Tuesday, January 25th at 2:30 pm EST at the Vino 2011 homepage (link here). Called, “What Emily Post can Teach You About Social Media, Millenial App-titude and Geo-Marketing” the panel deftly combines two wine hot buttons – digital marketing and Millenials; it’s sure to be a packed room.
Tom Wark from Wark Communications and, of course, his blog Fermentation will lead the discussion. Gregory Dal Piaz from Snooth and several other talented folks will be on the panel, as well. Full description here.
While I’m looking forward to the panel, I do have to admit that technology and marketing is a tough topic to speak to. You run the risk of saying something that is totally obvious to one person who might be sitting next to someone for whom your bit of wisdom is received like manna from heaven. And, of course, the opportunity to completely speak jargon-ese over the head of your audience is an ever-looming threat as well.
I have a number of notes prepared, which I’ll save for the panel discussion, but a point I would like to make here is the wine industry is very guilty of talking about Millenials as if they aren’t in the room, a demographic, a target to aim for as a savior of wine sales. It’s all very patronizing and kind of counter to the respected inclusion that is a hallmark of the generation.
Instead of laying plans to market to “Millenials” using the nearest, brightest new social media related shiny object, I would urge wine marketers to take a step back and understand two key things:
1) What are the generational high level patterns of technology usage
2) What are the generational high level personality characteristics
The most value I’ve received in gaining insight into this generation, who are very different in sensibility than I am as a Gen. X’er, is not a book on marketing, but a book on generational effectiveness in the workplace – what are the broad generational personality characteristics so as a Manager or a leader you can nurture an effective work environment with young talent?
Secondarily, reviewing high-level survey data on technology usage amongst generations will aid decision-making for places to be and the types of activity to initiate. To that end, it doesn’t get much better than the Pew Research Center’s Millennial section.
The key in marketing is, in my opinion, not laying plans based on headlines and working in a vacuum, its understanding intrinsic buttons to push. Once you have that, the marketing plan will nearly write itself.
Here are a couple of recommended resources / books related to technology usage amongst Millenials, as well as effectiveness in the workplace:
January 22 2011
As a student of business, and specifically marketing in business, I watch certain wineries to see how they handle themselves, reasonably detached, but with a certain brand affection—not unlike having a rooting interest in the NFL playoffs after your team has been eliminated.
Typically, the wineries I follow are mid-sized, but independently owned and largely available in national distribution—the toughest spot in the wine business, not capitalized by a larger company, yet not small enough where decisions can be made by the seat of the pants. No sir, there are implications to consider.
Still, these wineries have a hands-on touch from the owners.
Rodney Strong, in particular, is an interesting study subject and arguably on the cusp of outpacing mid-sized winery status at 800,000 cases of production. Yet, with them, it’s still reasonably easy to observe the machinations of leadership and market(s) positioning that make for fruitful observation.
The first thing to know is owner Tom Klein doesn’t shrink from leadership and he’s well respected by his peers. To wit, he’s the Chairman of the Wine Institute for 2010 – 2011.
Another admirable trait about Rodney Strong is the fact that they understand that quality is always the best marketing. You can have the greatest branding in the world, but at the end of the day the product has to support the “brand” in lockstep. And, in my estimation, in addition to always being varietally correct and neo-Californian in style, Rodney Strong demonstrates significant QPR on virtually every wine within their segmented wine line-up.
As an analogy, when you see the schlubby guy with the beautiful wife and you remark to a buddy, “Man, that guy way outkicked his coverage” – that’s Rodney Strong’s price relative to quality. You could throw darts blindfolded and hit a good Rodney Strong wine.
In addition to quality, their marketing acumen is apparent in two forms:
1) They have a well-segmented wine line-up that even a simpleton can understand
2) They have a sense of themselves and what’s important to them and how that message is carried forward in advertising
In regard to #1, I would hesitate to call Rodney Strong the “Toyota of Wine” – a phrase that instantly associates them as “solid,” “reliable,” “well-made,” “not too flashy, but stylish and contemporary.” Yet, their wine segmentation definitely pays homage to an auto manufactures line-up of cars and, frankly, the comparison works both in form and function.
When Toyota created Lexus as their luxury brand and, in recent years, when Rodney Strong created their “winery within a winery” for Rockaway and Brothers Ridge, two wines that have distinctly separate brand elements from Rodney Strong, you know the comparison is appropriate.
See the below graph for Toyota’s car line-up and how that equates to Rodney Strong’s wine line-up:
Secondarily, Rodney Strong’s advertising underwent some fine-tuning last fall to reinforce a very important aspect about their winery: Place Matters.
In the hurly-burly that is the modern wine marketplace, it’s often hard to tell the provenance of a wine. Rodney Strong, attempting to strike a more serious tone while elevating their advertising above me-too look-alike campaigns, is now indicating that, yes, where they grow the grapes is important, changing their positioning from, “From Our Place to Yours” to “Place Matters.”
Conceived by LA advertising agency, Sagon | Phire, Dan Wildermuth, VP of Marketing at Rodney Strong said, “It was felt that adding the people to the ad made it more casual and like many other casual brand ads. We wanted to keep a level of seriousness and focus on the wine and its origin. We are all about Sonoma County and the AVA’s we grow our grapes in and in this case, specifically Alexander Valley, Sonoma County.”
You can see the previous advertising below, followed by the current version.
In sum, wine lovers often like to talk about the lessons in the glass—the wisdom that wine offers, a reflection on humanity. Yes, that’s true, but let’s not forget that wine can also offer other lessons as well – notably, how to run a good business with a focus on quality.