There are moments that mark a sort of rite of passage for personalities in any field. With respect to writing on the topic of wine, there’s the first time you’re given a wine sample, the first time you’re invited to a tasting event or a tour of a wine region, the first time someone quotes your review of a wine, etc.
Like sex (okay, that’s a really poor comparison), they say you never forget your first time, and I suspect that in any case several of those first time events were almost as awkward an exchange as that first time.
I was recently involved in another first (for me) when it comes to being a wine personality (for lack of a better term): being asked to write a blurb for someone else’s wine book, the soon-to-be-released “Wines of South America: The Essential Guide” by Master Somm. Evan Goldstein.
On the finished product (a page proof copy of which I recently received), my blurb in support of Goldstein’s latest shares the back page with another blurb penned by the indefatigable Laura Catena of Catena Zapata; so I’m in very good company as far as covers go…
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Disappointed that your wine sales aren’t seeing an impact from your social media efforts?
Then this study of the social media impacts experienced by nearly 400 U.S. wineries strongly suggests that you are approaching social media incorrectly. Which will come as a surprise to exactly.no-one who reads this big regularly.
A quick quote:
“The results show that 87% of wineries in the sample report a perceived increase in wine sales due to social media practices.”
That’s it, we’re done here, the end. Seriously, go read the summary, and then if you decide that you’d rather not increase sales, don’t bitch and moan if your winery or band tanks eventually.
The debate on this topic is over. If you still think social media has no/little place in wine, then in the words of Obi-wan Kenobi, “you are lost!” If that remains your stance, I cannot help you; go back to sticking your head in the sand in your flat, 3,000-year-old earth where humans didn’t evolve from primates and the climate isn’t warming.
Every once in a while, you get a gig that is so good, you just have to pinch yourself to test if it’s all real and you’re actually getting paid to have so much fun.
Such was the case at the 2014 San Francisco International Wine Competition, which wrapped up a couple of weeks ago and recently announced its results. Over 30 countries and 26 U.S. states compete in this competition, which is billed as America’s largest such international vinous battle royale. The pinch-inducing vibe came courtesy of my lucky draw in amazing wine competition panel-mates, which included cult winemaker Heidi Peterson Barrett (small tidbit of advice: do not get between her and shoe shopping!) and competition organizer Anthony Dias Blue. The latter meant, of course, that at some point our panel would probably be getting some of the better wines entered into the comp, and that indeed did come to pass when we kicked off the second day of judging and were greeted with the wine lover’s breakfast of champions: a stellar flight of mostly vintage bubbly.
Did I mention that I love my “job?” Well, I do.
As for the specifics: the judges were divvied up about 3-4 at a table, tasting several related flights blind, knowing basically only the residual sugar, grapes, and price points of each wine. A splendid time was had by all (at least as far as I could tell), and I was happy to have leant my judging palate to a competition that was so well-organized, well-run, and that represented such a stellar group of wine-biz-insider-type judges. As always, I felt that I was bringing the overall class levels down a few notches by my attendance, though I think I made up for it in humor (we laughed a lot at our table…).
Anyway, here are a few of the stellar picks from that stellar bubbly lineup that had my table more-or-less swooning..
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