Table Talk with Food, Wine & Spirits Professionals
presented by Colangelo & Partners Public Relations
It’s summer. It’s hot out! It’s 5:30PM on a Friday, and I’m thinking about pitching happy hour. As a devout, um, drinker of things, I thought I’d share some of the summer booze trends that I’m most excited about – as well as some helpful tips for enjoying them!
The first-ever National Verdejo Day took place on Thursday, June 12th and was a day dedicated to celebrating the indigenous varietal of D.O. Rueda!
Verdejo Day was celebrated nationwide with simultaneous wine parties open to the public in four major markets: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Miami. Nearly 500 attendees enjoyed the 45 Rueda wines that participated in these cool & casual open-air parties which included a DJ, games, tattoos, social media walls and much more.
The enormous success of the celebration was the result of a highly active social media campaign, dynamic media relations activity, cooperation of the Rueda importers in the US and advertising in national publications combining print and online platforms. All of this activity was also supported by a dedicated website (www.VerdejoDay.com) where attendees could buy tickets and find information regarding the events and the wines.
This promotion was the culmination of an ambitious one year plan (July 2013 – June 2014) in which the popularity of the wines of Rueda in the US has grown significantly thanks to a national online & printed advertising campaign, an annual social media and media relations plan, and the participation in a great number of events and educational seminars around the main markets of the country.
Rueda wines have come to the US to stay, and Verdejo Day will soon become a must-attend event every Spring/Summer season!
While I am always a proponent of using fresh ingredients in cocktails, during summer it seems that much more important to include just-picked ingredients in drinks. Having a really juicy, ripe fruit or vegetable makes a cocktail more refreshing and memorable. I took a poll of friends and asked “What’s your favorite fresh ingredient to mix a cocktail with in summertime?” Responses ranged from top industry mixologists to at-home bartenders. While I prefer using local seasonal favorites like strawberries and peaches in my summer drinks, I was happy to see that many friends are mixing outside the box! Check out the list below – have you made cocktails with any of these summertime delights? What do you like to use in these hot months?
-Dried hibiscus flowers
-Blood orange juice
-Stonefruit (peaches, nectarines, plums, apricots)
Are you a follower of instant food photography, but don’t have any fancy camera? No problem.There is no need to own a professional camera to create some mouth-watering food images. If you would like to share better images of your culinary trends on social media, just keep these 5 tips in mind:
1. A tripod is indispensable!
Look for anything you can rest your camera on. It can be a mini tripod, a wine glass or a book. Even a napkin holder can keep your camera or cellphone steady!
2. Play around with your object:
Be creative and play with the dish in front of you before taking the picture. The composition of your photo is everything! And don’t forget to clean the area you would like to shoot. Take out elements that are distracting.
3. Don’t use flash, use daylight:
When shooting food, always try to take advantage of the available light as it gives a natural look to the food. The best spot to take pictures of food is always by a window – the light should come from behind. If the light coming from your window is too harsh, diffuse it with parchment paper or a thin, white sheet. Want shadows on the right side of your food? Make sure your light source is coming from the left. If you would like to have the best shooting results try to take photos between 2pm and 3pm.
4. Vary your point of view
Try different angles when shooting your food items; from directly overhead, tilted, shooting from an edge of the plate or table, and so on. Try to show your dish in a different way than most people would see it. Avoid empty spaces and try not to always have the object in the centre of the frame. Try to make your photo interesting!
5. Use the App Procamera
If you are shooting food images with your cellphone, try out Procamera. This application allows you to control your focal point, correct your light exposure, and readjust white balance to remove unrealistic color casts. It has a very simple interface and features a lot of different post-processing options.
Let’s get started and enjoy experimenting with your camera!
It’s time to break out your “football” jerseys because The World Cup is back! Held every four years, The World Cup is the single largest sporting event in the world. This year, the competition is taking us on a journey all over Brazil, allowing the world to see the country in its entirety—from the infinite coastline to the tropical rainforest. For the next 5 weeks, the world is going to be World Cup obsessed, so you better get comfortable and whip up some game-day food.
So sit back, eat up, and enjoy the next 5 weeks of soccer, I mean football.
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Instagram, known as the land of filters, picstiches and hashtags, is becoming increasingly important in the social media universe. The platform has doubled its user base every year and now stands at a staggering 200 million! (Twitter, for reference, has 255 million and founded 4 years earlier). Just this past week, the announcement of an app update introducing 10 new features was amongst the most buzzed about news in social – now that’s a lot of selfies! So what’s the secret?
1 – Simplicity. Instagram originated and has remained almost exclusively a mobile app. With a streamlined one-column approach, uploads appear uninterrupted and easy to digest – unlike that of its closest competitors Facebook* and Twitter.
*Facebook famously purchased Instagram in 2012 for $1 Billion
2- Its Real. Instagram is one of the few platforms where real works. Real people, real pictures, real experiences. From celebrities to brands, the content with the highest likes and “regrams” is usually shot in iPhone quality out in the “real world”. This allows for a kind of connection and engagement experience that is almost impossible to find elsewhere (Vine comes close).
So whether it’s personally or professionally, sign up to Instagram and happy uploading!
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Whether you’re a bus boy, bartender or bar owner, hospitality is of upmost importance in your line of work. Your attitude and the way you treat people can have a dramatic impact on your business, both good and bad. The same goes for those of us that work in PR. The manner in which we conduct ourselves in our day to day interactions with people can leave a lasting impression which can seriously affect our careers in the future.
Here are three ways hospitality can be applied to PR.
1. Be a Yes Person
No one wants to walk into a bar and be told they can’t have something, and the same goes for our clients. When they walk into a meeting with an idea, they do not want to be shot down automatically. Even if the idea is not necessarily a good one, it’s important to avoid saying “no”, and instead make the idea better or offer an alternative. When a client feels as though they are being listened to, they are happy.
2. Take Care of “Your People”
A bar owner knows that unhappy employees equals unhappy guests, which is never good. As PR professionals, we often have many “people” whom we need to take care of in order to keep everything running smoothly. Interns, UPS delivery drivers, caterers, your buildings doorman – these are all people who you need to make sure you are treating respectfully. You may not realize it at the time but the relationships you build with them can really benefit you in the long run.
3. Creativity is Key
Think about how many bars there are in New York City alone. How do you ensure that people walk through your doors AND have a memorable experience? Creativity. You must have creative cocktails on your menu, a unique space that makes people feel comfortable and dynamic employees to help facilitate a good experience. When working in PR, it’s no secret that creativity is also necessary. There may be hundreds of products similar to the one you are pitching, so making yours stand out is one of the most important jobs.
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Whenever I try a new wine which impresses me, I think that the world of wine is wonderful. A lot of people might call themselves ‘connaisseurs’ and think they know all about wine, but the reality is one cannot know all about wine. It is a world which needs a lot of time to discover and there is always something new to know.
A few months ago I went to the Nomad Restaurant, which is a very fancy and exclusive restaurant in New York City. Intrigued by the wine list, I took a glass of white wine from the Veneto called “From Black to White.”
Rondinella, along with Corvina and Molinara, is one of the 3 grapes which make up the well-known Amarone della Valpolicella. This wine is the real pearl of the Veneto. It is considered one of the biggest Italian red wines, which recently has shown its potential in the market by tripling its sales in less than 5 years. Rondinella gives the wine a spicy nose, body, more harmony and structure.
To go back to Zyme’s wine, this is actually a blend made up of Rondinella 60%, 15% Golden Traminer, 15% Kerner, 10% Incrocio Manzoni. It is a brilliant, straw yellow color, with a nose that has flower, fruit and citrus. Warm, rich and creamy, this wine is harmonious, well-balanced and rounded in the mouth.
Rondinella is the only red grape in Zyme. Both Traminer and Kerner have a very intense and aromatic nose, fruity, flowery and with hints of exotic fruit, rose and acacia flower. The Incrocio Manzoni is a hybrid of Riesling Renano and Pinot Bianco.
From the point of view of taste, the fresh and sapid notes are well-balanced and supported by great softness. ‘From Black to White’ wine takes the complex notes and the body structure from Rondinalla and the aromatic and fruity notes from the whites.
I will suggest this wine pairing with salmon tartare, but also with a simple spaghetti alle vongole (spaghetti with clams) or with turbot and potatos.
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Whether you’re a beginner wine enthusiast or a sommelier, reading wine labels and figuring which wines to drink can be a difficult task. Below, are the 3 best wine apps for all wine enthusiasts.
Considered by many as the “king of all wine apps”, Delectable allows users to save, share, and discover incredible wines with ease. It is the most popular wine app that allows users to connect with their wine and help consumers learn about wine. Users are able to obtain “accurate identification and information” on any bottle of wine from a single digital photo. Delectable has a database of over two million wines found across the globe. While wine labels can sometimes be hard to read, Delectable makes it easy to receive and store information about that great bottle of wine you just had at your favorite restaurant. It will tell you what vintage it is, what winery it came from, and how the winemaker prepared it. The best part is that you can order wine right from the app and have it delivered right to your door in a few days. It’s like Uber for wine.
Delectable, in my opinion, is the best wine app out there for the beginner or even expert wine enthusiast. It will continue to dominate the wine app industry. Earlier this week, it even raised another three million dollars in Series A funding. We should expect new features from them soon.
Vivino is another great wine app that also utilizes snapshots to generate information to users. Once a photo of a wine is taken, it will find out the wine’s average rating, price, and show comments from other Vivino users. After you have rated or placed wines in your wish list, the app will start giving you recommendations of wine for you to try. The more wine you rate, the better the recommendations will become. A great app for the wine enthusiasts that love to try new wine.
3) Hello Vino
The third wine app that has gotten considerable attention in recent years is Hello Vino. What makes Hello Vino stand out from Delectable and Vivino is its functionality as a wine, food-pairing app. It will tell you which wine to pair with that pizza you just made or that exotic Latin dish you just ordered at your favorite restaurant. Hello Vino helps you find the right wine bottle to go with the right food in an easy to use format. It also allows users to save all the pairings they searched for as well. It’s a great app for wine enthusiasts who have trouble pairing wine with food.
Culintro and HD Magazine hosted a panel this week in NYC on one of the most talked about food trends of 2014 - upscale food halls packed with artisan products and local restaurants. Representatives from Gotham West Market and The Plaza Food Hall held court to talk about the phenomenon which has seen diners abandon traditional dining spaces i.e restaurants in droves.
The idea of food courts in malls that serve up tired, withered burgers and sad pizza slices from the same group of big chain vendors is kaput. Consumers want an interactive dining and social experience where they can pick and choose dishes of their choice without being restricted by one ethnic cuisine – the ultimate fusion experience.
In New York we have the mega Eataly and most recently Gotham West Market in up and coming Hells Kitchen neighborhood. One of the grands dames of the food hall sphere is, of course The Plaza Food Hall in the iconic hotel, which will open Phase Two Food in 2015. Panelists Christopher Jaskiewicz (Gotham) and Kristin Franzese (The Plaza) say the spectacle of food is the new draw and restaurants and developers are realizing this and making their brands more elastic and accessible to a larger transient audience.
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