The Wine Media, The Wine Brand, and The Wine Message (Read It Or Weep)

Vinted on February 8, 2010 binned in wine blogging, wine industry events

Last week, Vino 2010 (self-described as “the biggest Italian wine event ever held outside of Italy”) officially touched down in NYC.

One of the most anticipated discussions of Vino 2010, at least in the eyes of PR, media, and wine writers, was the panel “Blogging on Wine and Social Networking: New Tools in reaching Consumers of Italian Wine” moderated by Anthony Dias Blue. readers will already know that I was a bit concerned when I’d heard that Dias Blue would be moderating, as I felt that he was too publicly anti-blogging based on quite negative statements he’d made about wine bloggers last year.

That was before I learned of the panel members, who included some very pro-blogging (and very, very talented) friends of mine (blogger Alder Yarrow, PR wiz Steven Raye, and search guru Duog Cook), and the very public and open way in which the panel would be held.

The panel result is freely viewable on the Vino 2010 website, and has been included below in its entirety.  All 2+ hours of it.  If you care at all about wine PR, wine writing, wine blogging, and how to engage them all in the changing wine marketplace, then Id say all 2 hours are required viewing – and this is coming from a guy who normally cannot watch more than 3 consecutive minutes of video at any one time.

Why?  Because the panel members offer advice on how to engage wine writers in the new decade that is so spot-on it might as well be a blueprint for how it should be done.

Why is that important?  Because wine brands need to get into the engagement game if they have any prayer of truly understanding (and ultimately influencing) the conversations happening about their brands.

And I know of what I (virtually) speak here, because last week I started getting a firsthand lesson in brand-awareness…

You see, last week I started getting tweets that were phrased something like this:

“Dude – have you seen this presentation about wine and social media? There’s totally some slides about you in it.”

I hadn’t seen it.  If it hadn’t been for the twitter chatter, I might never have seen it.  And it turns out that Lift9 (the authors of the presentation – which is quite good, by the way) know more about than I do; at least, they know more about its potential reach and influence than I do.

In other words, Lift9 was talking about my brand.  And they had great info. about it.  And they were saying something positive about it. 

And I didn’t know it.

Now I know how wineries and PR folks feel! 

The difference between situations like that feeling exciting vs. them keeping you up at night is simple: knowledge.  Once you know how to identify those discussions, and decide which ones you’ll ignore and which ones you won’t, the whole thing seems much more like an endless stream of opportunities than a sequence of random chatter. 

Knowledge is power, and social media can give you that power.  But… you gotta use it first.  Watch the video, and you’ll be a hell of a lot closer to understanding how to use it.


vino10 on Broadcast Live Free







  • Jason Malumed

    Nice article Dude. Still haven't finished the video, but it's #1 on my to do list today. What you are talking about with you and Lift9 is exactly how I feel everyday! Scouring Twitter/Facebook/Cruvee/Google Alerts for mentions of Penns Woods, and responding to all the comments… And you know what, I really think Vaynerchuk is on to something when he says that this is the real customer service. If wineries/bloggers/anybody is missing out on this aspect of the business, they are in big trouble. Social media is absolutely an integral part of ALL business today.

    • 1WineDude

      Hey man – You know, it used to be (and fairly recently) that you could answer that by saying "yeah but social media doesn't generate any sales/ROI/etc."

      But now there are interesting case studies and expert advice that is saying this view is no longer correct – so it seems that a company's bottom-line will be growing increasingly more dependent on social media as well…

  • @suburbanwino

    Two hours?! Of course I'll check it out, but I think they should've limited each panel member to 140 characters…it would've been more relevant to the discussion.

    • 1WineDude

      Yeah – it's a commitment. But worth it.

  • Richard Scholtz

    I think the winemaker/retailer/wholesaler (Gasp! did I just say wholesaler?) engaging the consumer public is going to be very important for getting your brand out there. Used to be, if you were a small businessman, you'd print up some flyers, maybe bring samples of your product (if applicable) and go to the other local businesses, fairs, etc. and distribute your wares. Problem now is that labor is too expensive for that. So the modern alternative seems to be engaging your consumers through blogs, twitter, facebook, etc. I think were it starts to take off is engaging in conversations through blogs, forums, twitter conversations, and the like. Instead of feeling like someone sitting in an office just posting random stuff, you actually get to converse with someone on the other end that knows something about the product. The big problem is most tend to engage in the former rather than the latter.
    If you are a winemaker, and can afford to pay someone to do it (raising hand and waving frantically over here), you should hire someone to handle ALL of your social media and communication needs. Get someone to post to facebook, twitter, engage in electronic conversation with your customers, and be able to spread your brand. They say customer service and face-time is key to getting people to know about your product. The only difference now is the face-time has taken on a different form.

    • 1WineDude

      Totally agree.

      I'm also a big proponent of hiring someone to do this stuff – take the St, Supery example, it's worked out GREAT for them.

  • @nectarwine

    Watched the video (well listened b/c there wasn't really much to watch – no dancing girls). I'll be on such a panel in our community this week. I really appreciated Doug and Alders comments. Its great to see this discussion happening on a broad scale. It feels like we're in an infancy stage here. It will be interesting to look back on this in a few years. I think the influence of bloggers will continue to increase. When marketers begin to take note of that, then the real crumble of the traditional media empire will occur. Where the people are, the money will follow!

    Thanks for sharing Joe!

    • 1WineDude

      Your point about being in the infancy can't be overstated – although some of what's covered in that video seems almost rudimentary to those who deal with social media frequently, it's still "new" for the vast majority of people out there.

  • Alfonso Cevola

    It was a bit long…probably too many people on the panel – I really loved the Italian minister's speech ( short) and the guy who kept coming to the podium telling everyone who was sponsoring the event ( don't remember).

    Doug's presentation was, for me, new info and worth the wait.

    • 1WineDude

      Doug is awesome – I'll be on a social media panel with him next week at the Wine Writers Symposium in Napa, and I'm stoked that he will be involved.

  • @warrenss

    Joe, glad we were able to give you a pleasant surprise with the Lift9 Wine and Social Media presentation. The wine industry is definitely becoming stronger on social media. Love the blog.

    Warren Sukernek
    VP of Social Media Services

    • 1WineDude

      Thanks! I might need to hire you to school me in some social media kung-fu…!

      • Warren_Sukernek

        Sure, we could make a trade – You give me Robert Parker-esque tasting skills and I'll help you become a social media black belt.

        • 1WineDude

          Uhmmmm…. uhhhhhh….. uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh…. Hmmm, :-)

  • James McCann


    Nice video. Can you elaborate as to the success of St. Supery's social media program? Increased sales? Better tasting room traffic?

  • James McCann

    Thanks for the reply. Rick does a great job for St. Supery, building a large following and delivering interesting content. At the end of the day, (or year) doesn't he need to show some sort of ROI? And if he does, how do you measure that?

    I think that one of the challenges facing social media is that for a medium sized winery, hiring someone like Rick could mean hiring one less salesperson in the field who is also interacting with hundreds of stores and thousands of consumers. That person is able to show how they moved the needle, which is much more difficult for Rick.

    • 1WineDude

      Great points – would love to hear from Rick here… if he's listening! :-)

  • Lauren

    Excellent podcast and I'm still listening … thanks

    • 1WineDude

      Yeah – it ain't short!

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