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1WineDude | A Serious Wine Blog for the Not-So-Serious Drinker - Page 293

One Wino’s Inspiration (Wine Blogging Wednesday #57)

Vinted on May 13, 2009 binned in wine blogging wednesday, wine review
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HiYa! If you're new here, you may want to Sign Up to get all the latest wine coolness delivered to your virtual doorstep. I've also got short, easily-digestible mini wine reviews and some educational, entertaining wine vids. If you're looking to up your wine tasting IQ, check out my book How to Taste Like a Wine Geek: A practical guide to tasting, enjoying, and learning about the world's greatest beverage. Cheers!

I need to go on record right now that I hate Jeff Lefevere*.

Why do I hate Jeff…  Well, for one, he has the best-looking wine blog in all of the blog-o-world.  If his blog design were a person, it would be Warren Beatty, and it would walk around with a smile and a demure but slightly aloof stance, confident that your wife would do him in a heartbeat and not even think twice about you or your kids, because he’s just that cool.

He (I mean Jeff, not the personified Beatty-esque incarnation of Jeff’s blog) is also a phenomenally talented writer; his prose puts the writing on the majority of wine blogs (including some of those penned by professional writers) to shame.

So, there’s jealousy,  That’s clearly one reason.

Also, I don’t understand at all his Vin de Napkin comics, and it pisses me off that I’m possibly too dumb to appreciate them.

I guess that’s also jealously?

Anyway, after today, Jeff pissed me off even more because he’s managed to host the only Wine Blogging Wednesday topic that has completely stumped me (I’m not usually at a loss for words… like, ever…).  The theme is “California Inspiration,” which Jeff intended to be a homage to the late and inspirational CA wine icon Robert Mondavi, as this week marks the first anniversary of Mondavi’s passing.

The idea is that we should recount a moment of inspiration, a story centering around a specific wine.

Jeff… you magnificent bastard… you have stumped me.  Why?  Because while capturing the essence of a fleeting inspirational moment in time might be a talented trained journalist’s idea of a writing warm-up exercise, it’s a bear of an activity for hacks like me.

Curse you, Lefevere!  May the fleas of one thousand camels infest your armpits!!!

* – Note: I don’t actually hate Jeff Lefevere.  In fact, he is an extremely nice guy with whom I had the pleasure of hanging out during the first Wine Bloggers Conference.  I’m just stalling because I don’t have a wittier intro.

Wait. I take that back.  I actually do have a story.  So, I need to go on record right now that I no longer hate Jeff Lefevere.

 

My Story

You know, if it weren’t for two winemakers, and two specific wines, I might not be writing to you right now. 

A few months ago (circa September 2008), I had contemplated giving up wine blogging entirely.  I loved writing, and I loved wine.  But I wasn’t sure that wine blogging was going to be viable for me.  I had a full-time career at a big CPG company.  My wife was pregnant.  I loved playing in the band, and didn’t see myself curtailing those activities or short-changing my family in the battle for my non-work time.  I was pretty sure that wine blogging was going to have to go (it wasn’t exactly paying the bills, either).

There were new wine blogs cropping up pretty much every week.  It was a crowded field, and while the majority of those that I’d met who were involved with wine were amazing people, there were enough ‘bad apples’ gunnin’ for me that I felt a little… battle weary.

Then, I got contacted by the staff at Opus One and Penns Woods wineries – two of the finest purveyors of red wine on both coasts – to tour their wineries.  Why did they ask me to do this?  Because of my writing on 1WineDude.  The results of those visits sparked something in my pea-sized, alcohol-wizened brain.  “I’m just some punk kid from Delaware – what the hell was I doing talking to these amazing winemaking teams?  Holy crap, I’d better take this thing more seriously.”

After getting uber-wine-geeky with Opus One’s Michael Silacci and Penns Woods’ Gino Razzi, I recounted the experiences in the virtual pages of 1WineDude, and put their wines head to head in a blind tasting.  Links to the resulting posts are below, and they remain some of my favorites, probably because they convinced me not to hang up the wine bloggin’ spurs:

Since that time, 1WineDude has seen steady and progressive modest success, whether you measure it in terms of income, traffic, subscribers, or – best of all – in the number of readers, bloggers, industry folk, and winemakers that I consider to be friends.  If I’d given up last year, I’d have missed out on a crazy amount of life-expanding and enriching experiences.  Finding the right balance between family, career, music, and wine is a constant struggle for me – but the rewards on all fronts are worth the effort.

So in my case, we have a sort of minor tragedy turned into a sort of minor victory.  Thanks to two wines.  Sort of.

Cheers!

(images: sacbee.com, 1WineDude)

Of Millennial Mistakes and Wine Blogging Blunders

Vinted on May 12, 2009 binned in best of, commentary

The latest issue of Wine Enthusiast has some advice for wineries and wine wine marketers on how to handle the next generation of wine consumers – and it’s probably wrong.

Well, it’s at least incomplete.

In the May 2009 issue of Wine Enthusiast, which I received as a sample from the recent TasteCamp East in Long Island, has an interesting article by Kathleen Buckley titled “The Millennial Effect.”  I’m not a Millennial myself, but I can appreciate the challenge that PR in general will have to overcome to engage that target market.  After all, they don’t respond to the mindless, unidirectional marketing tactics that have been the staple of the “traditional” marketing machine.

Apparently, according to the WE article, Millennials think about wine first and foremost as fun, don’t drink to get drunk, want a story and a compelling value proposition if they are to be a marketing target, and they love sparkling wine.

In my book, all of that simply means that the Millennials aren’t morons.

The advice from WE?

“Get into Social Networking.  Think Facebook… Flikr a label or Twitter a wine recommendation… If your phone does tricks, use them.”

In my book, that simply sounds like a recipe for disaster.

At least, it’s not a complete recipe for engaging Millennials about wine.

In fact, it doesn’t say anything about actually engaging wine consumers.  Twitter, Facebook, Flikr, even blogs… last time I checked, these are just tools.  If you want to engage Millennials – hell, any wine consumers for that matter – here’s some advice that you can take to the bank: actually engage us about your wine / clients / products / etc.

Yeah, it’s that simple.

In fact, if you’re in the wine world and you were serious about how to get your message across to the Millennial generation, you’d already know how to do it, because Millennials regularly give this advice away for free nearly every day. Don’t believe me?  Check out millennier.wordpress.com.

Sure, use the tools that everyone is using to engage each other, but don’t use the tools without having the desire to engage in a two-way conversation.  Otherwise, that marketing-savvy next generation of wine consumers will eat you for lunch on Twitter.

The WE article doesn’t mention much about wine blogs, but there’s plenty to talk about on that front now that Vintank, the wine and technology think-tank firm headed by Inertia Beverage founder Paul Mabray, has released their new report, titled The state of Wine Industry Social Media.

The latest Vintank report is one of the few available that has any meaningful statistics on the influence of wine blogging, and it shows that if you’re in wine PR and you’re ignoring wine blogs, you’re probably making a big blunder.

Some highlights of the Vintank report findings:

    • Every blogger that has an audience over 20 people has influence that is relevant.
    • Wine bloggers in aggregate may be more powerful than traditional online outlets.
    • According to data from Compete, the top 20 wine bloggers in aggregate have a larger audience than the Wine Spectator online.

That last one is my personal fave.

Vintank has confirmed what many have suspected for a long time, and it’s something that sponsors of events like the Wine Bloggers Conference and TasteCamp “get,” which is that wine bloggers may have small reaches individually, but collectively have a potentially enormous reach.  Ignore us at your marketing peril.

Cheers!

(images: babble.com, winemag.com, vinfolio.com)

Wine on the Deck at Teikoku – This Thursday 6-8PM

Vinted on May 11, 2009 binned in wine tasting

Spring. That time when a young man’s fancy turns to love.  In my case, it’s a not-so-young man’s fancy for wines.

Anyway, although I am mentioning Spring, don’t worry, this is not an intro. for a piece on Rose wines.  It’s a bit of a statement of gratitude that the weather has turned gorgeous again.

Which naturally means that Teikoku, my favorite eatery on earth, will be reinstating their Wine on the Deck food and wine pairing events.

Here’s the skinny on their next pairing, which I’m stoked to attend as they’ll be throwing their yummy Asian-inspired small plate dishes at wines selections from Chile & Argentina; not the first match that comes to mind for Asian Fusion, so my curiosity – and, to be honest, my Spider Sense – are both tingling:

Teikoku restaurant invites you to join us for an evening of wine on the deck with Heather Wright, Wine educator and Consultant from Capital Wine and Spirits. Having just returned from visiting South America and its wineries, Heather has brought back some phenomenal wines and stories to share. Featuring innovative small plates by Executive Chefs Chay Aniwat , Aki Takeshima and Executive Chef ,Takao Iinuma, of Win Signature Restaurants.

Thursday May 14, 2009 from 6 P.M. TO 8 P.M.

$40 per person, all inclusive, space is limited, tickets are sold ahead of the event (contact info).

More details are available if you’re interested in what’s being paired with what.  If you’re in the Pilly area, stop in and say hi to me (I’ll be the one in the corner with the glass, pen, and business cards).

Cheers!

(images: tripadvisor.com)

Vote Dirty!

Vinted on May 11, 2009 binned in wine industry events, wine news

In a stunningly brilliant example of shameless promotion on multiple levels, Murphy-Goode winery is hosting a competition to hire a Web 2.0 –savvy wine-lover to become their on-line marketing mouthpiece for 6 months, making around $60 Gs.  The job will entail promoting Sonoma County wine country, while also working with Murphy-Goode winemaker David Ready, Jr. to create a new wine.

They’re calling the the competition “A Really Goode Job” and it’s understandably gaining quite a lot of buzz on-line.  In fact, Murphy-Goode is already sitting pretty on this deal, as they’ve probably scored way over $60K in media exposure over this and the competition is just now picking up steam.

I’m excited to report that a friend of 1WineDude, Hardy Wallace of Atlanta’s excellent Dirty South Wine blog, is in the running for the Job – and he needs your vote!

I’d be hard-pressed to think of someone better qualified (not to mention better suited) to the job than Hardy.  To get the scoop on Hardy’s story and why he’s applying, check out goodetobefirst.com

Hardy’s application vid below, and it’s a classic.  Check it out and then head on over to areallygoodejob.com and Vote Dirty!

Cheers!

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