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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I’m a member of the Wine Media Guild of New York, which probably makes little sense to many of you reading this considering that a) I don’t live in New York, b) I’m not formally in the media trade and c) I posses (maybe) one tenth the talent of WMG members like Kevin Zraly. Members are required to attend a minimum of one WMG event per year, and so I carted my ass up to the Big Apple last week to attend the annual Hall of Fame dinner at the Four Seasons.
This year saw four people elected as Hall of Fame Inductees, none of whom, puzzlingly, were actually present to accept their honors (though in the case of Leon Adams, whose induction was posthumous, the absence was understandable!).
While it’s nice to rub elbows with the Right Coast’s wine media heavy-hitters, one of the biggest draws of the WMG annual HoF dinners are the wines brought by the members – many of whom pull out interesting/special/older bottles from their personal cellars, and I’m not above mooching off of the vinous bounty of my fellow members (not by a long way, in fact).
I guessed (correctly, it turned out) that most of the Right Coasters were going to go French (and older) with their selections, so I went a bit rogue with my choices…
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Uhm, like what is this stuff?
I taste a bunch-o-wine (technical term for more than most people). So each week, I share some of my wine sample tasting notes via twitter (limited to 140 characters). They are meant to be fun, quickly-and-easily-digestible reviews. Below is a wrap-up of the twitter reviews from the past week (click here for the skinny on how to read them), along with links to help you find them so you can try them for yourself. Cheers!
- 08 O. Fournier (Maule): A red about as concentrated, powerful & sexy as any sports car that ever cruised the streets of Santiago. $80 A- >>find this wine>>
- 08 Viña Siegel Gran Crucero Limited Edition (Colchagua): For those who like their bright red fruits w/ a side of savory smoked meat. $29 B >>find this wine>>
- 06 Neyen Espiritu de Apalta (Colchagua): Savory & just the right hints of spice, herbs & sweet oak. But the structure’s the real star $50 B+ >>find this wine>>
- 07 Manzoni Estate Vineyards Syrah (Santa Lucia Highlands): This wine to BBQ ribs: “oh, yes… you will be mine… you *will* be mine!” $30 B >>find this wine>>
- 08 Conundrum (California): A bit cloying? Maybe, but the kitchen-sink white blend scores in the bonus round for food-friendliness. $21 B >>find this wine>>
- 08 Los Boldos Amalia (Cachapoal): Smooth-going low rider cruisin’ down the ave. Smoked meat & jammy blue fruit are ridin’ shotgun. $50 B+ >>find this wine>>
- 10 Los Boldos Momentos Sauvignon Blanc (Casablanca): Herbs and wonderful citric, acidic lift playing kissing cousins in this charmer. $10 B- >>find this wine>>
- 05 Haras Elegance (Maipo): Red & black fruits that are as smooth as silk, but it’s got a green streak running about a mile long. $40 B >>find this wine>>
- 09 Mt Beautiful Cheviot Hills Sauvignon Blanc (North Canterbury): First guava, then veggies, then some heft, then just total delight. $17 B >>find this wine>>
- 06 Cardinale Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley): The kind of stellar Napa red that gets people hooked forever on stellar Napa reds. $215 A >>find this wine>>
I know I’m risking turning this blog into a South American wine coverage outlet recently (and there are at least two more posts yet to come from my recent jaunt there). BUT…
Just in case you’re not yet sick of hearing about the wines and wine-related stories I encountered in Chile and Argentina (or if you’re looking for a sort-of Cliff Notes version), I’ve got a featured article running up at PalatePress.com (with corresponding wine reviews) focusing on the off-the-beaten-path, outside-of-the-bargain-bin gems I found during my S. American travels (and travails).
The article also makes me feel good, mostly because it (hopefully?) resets the counter on keeping the “contributing” part of my “contributing editor” title at Palate Press. Anyway… here’s a run-down of the vinous S. American gems reviewed at PalatePress.com as part of the article: