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Going Pro | 1 Wine Dude - Page 21

Posts Filed Under going pro

Social Media As Wine Retail Sales Weapon? (“Wine Marketing In The Digital Age” Post-Panel Musings)

Vinted on June 22, 2011 binned in going pro, wine 2.0

Can social media be used as tool to drive sales for wine retailers, distributors, and importers?

Yes, I’m seriously asking that question.  Stop laughing, okay?

Despite the fact that even well-attended and publicized retail events don’t seem to be moving umpteen cases of wine, the consensus answer seems to be “Yes – with caveats,” based on a panel discussion I took part in recently in New York.

The title of the thirty-minute sessions was Wine Marketing in the Digital Age – I shared the table with with Jody Rones from Thrillist.com (a daily email marketing blast with a ridiculous number of subscribers), Lindsey Johnson from wine PR mavens Lush Life Productions, and Gregory Dal Piaz of Snooth.com (Editor in Chief for the one of the largest wine websites in the world – he chaired the session).  The panel was part of a sponsored event by Wines of Chile, who concurrently put on a pretty kick-ass grand tasting of something like 300 Chilean wines, of which I had time to taste about twelve before having to hoof it to Penn Station to catch a train back to the ol’ dancin’ waters of Philly.

Thirty minutes isn’t a lot of time to cover such a potentially diverse and broad topic, but it won’t surprise 1WD readers that I said “screw it, I’ll try it anyway!”…

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Born Digital: Some Of Our Children Are Ugly (What Wine Writing Awards Mean)

Vinted on June 15, 2011 binned in going pro, wine blogging

The ugly child to which I refer in the title being me, of course.  Hey, even in the on-line wine writing world, not all of those who are “born digital” can be handsome, I’m afraid.

I recently (ok, somewhat recently – times are busy, people!) ”took the bronze” in the 2010 Born Digital Wine Awards, in which a story I wrote on the wines of Greek isle of Santorini (Endangered Species: Santorini Wine Fights for Its Survival) was chosen as a finalist in the Wine Tourism category (somewhat ironically I suppose, since one could make an argument that it’s an anti-tourism piece).  This got me a gift certificate to Amazon.com, and a nod from Jancis Robinson (as well as a subscription to her Purple Pages, which I’m looking forward to viewing once I get thirty or more uninterrupted seconds to myself, probably sometime in early October at the rate things are going now).

That, along with some kind nominations for the 2011 Wine Blog Awards (big THANKS to those who nominated me, by the way!), have put wine writing awards front-and-center in my mind lately.  As in, re-pondering what wine writing awards really mean, man.  And what I’ve learned through all of the re-pondering is that I’m not sure what they really mean (but, as usual, that won’t stop me from talking about them!)

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We’re Number… Sixteen! (Thoughts On Decanter’s 2011 Wine Power List)

Vinted on June 8, 2011 binned in commentary, going pro, wine news

In a move that seems to be a big deal (especially to its publisher!), last week Decanter unveiled the 2011 version of their bi-annual Power List of the wine world’s most influential people.  The biggest news, it appears, is that Richard Sands, the chairman of über-wine-brand-consolidation company Costellation Brands, no longer occupies the top slot – that now belongs to Pernod Ricard’s chief executive Pierre Pringuet.  EGADS! I know I’m gonna be losing sleep over that one for some time.  Ok, probably not.

Far more interesting (to me), however, is the inclusion in their top twenty of the now-ubiquitous and fuzzily-conceived idea of the Wine Blogger:

Finally, making a first appearance at number 16 is a character whose influence has grown exponentially over the last two years: the Amateur Wine Blogger. ‘As social media continues its relentless online spread, everyone is now a critic,’ Decanter says.

By the way, I use the term “fuzzily-conceived” with respect to wine blogging because just about anyone who is anyone in the wine world is blogging now anyway (props are certainly due to Decanter for recognizing the dispersed-but-powerful influence of the citizen bloggers – which is fun to say, by the way… “Hail! Fellow Citizen Blogger!  We’re Number Sixteen!  How fares Scandinavia?”).  So can we really – or even should we – differentiate blogging as somehow the outside-looking-in of wine media anymore?…

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Who Has The Most Influence On The Wines That We Buy?

Vinted on June 1, 2011 binned in best of, commentary, going pro, wine appreciation, wine buying

Several days ago, a lively discussion took place here in the comments on a post (okay, “rant”) that challenged wineries in emerging wine regions to focus on fewer, higher-quality bottlings, and not to pawn off poorly-made (or not-quite-ready-for-prime-time experimental) wines onto customers at their tasting rooms (a scenario which I’ve experienced first-hand).

In those comments, frequent-visitor and formidable-wine-blogger-in-his-own-right Thomas Pellechia raised a couple of fascinating related questions, about which he, in turn, challenged me to write:

“…is there or should there be a relationship between what the wine ‘press’ prefers and what the wine ‘tourists’ buy? And who’s got the upper hand when it comes to establishing the success of a winery?”

Put another way, if critics say a wine really sucks, how relative of a measure is it?  Do people act on that assessment when it comes to buying wine?  And if they do, should they?  Could a winery still manage to pawn off its crappy stuff to newbie consumers in the tasting room, even if critics pan the bejeezus out of it?

Not easy questions to tackle.  In fact, they’re like trying to tackle Jerome Bettis in his heyday.  If I’d have had any clue just how deep a rabbit hole I’d be diving into after promising Thom I’d take on the topic, I would have told him (politely) to get bent and stop leaving such profound comments on my blog.

And this rabbit hole goes pretty deep, boy.  What I found in my quick-and-dirty investigation reveals a lot about how we buy wine, calls into question the future relevance of wine criticism generally (including my own modest contribution to that sphere), and tells us why it still might be possible for wineries to close many a tasting room sale on their crappiest offerings.

So take the red pill, if you dare, and I’ll show you just how deep the rabbit-hole goes…

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