Table Talk with Food, Wine & Spirits Professionals
presented by Colangelo & Partners Public Relations
At no point ever in the history of the US wine industry, has the diversity of wine available to consumers been as exciting as it is today. Wines and styles from regions previously unknown to even the most educated of drinkers 30 years ago, are now popping up on retail shelves and restaurant lists all over the country…and guess what? They are actually pretty good.
The combination of new technology, improved viticultural practices and the opening of borders have given ambitious winemakers from budding regions around the world, the opportunity to showcase their indigenous grapes and wines on a global level.
This, combined with the continued maturation of the American palate over the last few years, has given many David-like producers the ability to take aim at Goliath’s such as Bordeaux, Champagne and Burgundy. Descriptors like “rustic”, “oxidized”, “high acid” and “nutty” are no longer frowned upon, as wine lovers begin to see flavors and smells in the context of terroir, culture and a sense of place.
Here are some of the breakout wine regions/grapes/styles that will be making waves in 2014:
Jaen and Alfrocheiro
Swartland Rhone Blends
Tags: Alfrocheiro, Franciacorta, Italian wine, Italy, Jaen, Portugal, portuguese wine, Rueda, South Africa, south african wine, Spain, Spanish wine, Sparkling wine, Verdejo
Saturday, February 22nd is National Margarita Day. Even though it’s been a cold and snowy winter, the margarita is a perfect escape cocktail for those wishing they were in a warmer climate. Combining Tequila, lime, nectar and ice, a simple margarita can be satisfying even on the most wintry of days. While a lot of margarita recipes out there call for the addition of triple sec or a secondary alcohol (which increases the alcohol as well as the calories in the days when many are dieting), the best idea is to keep it simple. Mastering a perfect margarita comes with time and practice. Here are some tips to make authentic, crowd-pleasing margaritas for National Margarita Day:
Happy National Margarita Day! Salud!
Q. How are walk-around wine tastings like the weather?
A. Everybody complains about them, but nobody does anything about it.
Institutional wine organizations, participating producers, sponsors, US wine trade, press – nobody seems too happy with the traditional walk-around wine trade tasting format. The wine marketing organizers complain about the lack of measurement, never enough attendance, quality of attendees and usually the weather. Wine trade don’t feel like the time of year is ever quite right for their buying cycles, and they just don’t seem to get the information they really need. Producers never know if they’re talking to the ‘right’ people, the ones who make the buying decisions.
So how to fix it? Here are some ideas:
Easier said than done. But shouldn’t we always challenge ourselves to do better?
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Could one event get possibly more bad publicity than the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics? Hard to imagine. From the very beginning, when one of the five rings failed to ignite during the opening ceremony, Sochi has been the biggest laughing stock across social media platforms and throughout the news. There have been countless buzzfeed lists about the conditions of toilets in the winter games city, a multitude of #sochiproblems across the web and endless critique on Putin and Sochi by nearly every major media outlet.
Why the major publicity fail? Reports stated that Russia’s Putin spent over $51 billion on preparations for the winter games. It seems this money has been put towards expensive infrastructure and gaudy decoration, rather than basic accommodations for attendees and security and most importantly, press. Controversy over Russian leader Putin’s intolerance of homosexuality did not make it easier to promote the Sochi Olympics in a positive light. With all the distracting pictures of hilarious toilets, endless controversial remarks by Putin and the “stray dogs” that seem to be quite a nuisance throughout the city, how could any positive press stand-out?
It is never easy to promote a client surrounded by controversy, jokes, and an embarrassing collection of toilet photos, but as PR professionals, it is our job to do our best to always present our clients in the best light possible. At the same time, it is important to remain ethical and honest. #prproblems
Yesterday, while attending Vinitaly, the largest Italian wine conference in the U.S., I sat in on a trade seminar where three prominent restaurateurs and wine directors shared tips and best practices for selling wine to restaurants. Especially in a market where competition is steep, such as New York City, it’s incredibly important to make your wines stand out and feel unique in some way in order to land a spot on a top restaurant’s wine list. Tasting Panel’s Lana Bortolot moderated the panel, who included Vic Rallo (owner of Undici Taverna & Basil T’s in NJ), Giuseppe Rosati (Wine Director of Lydia Bastianich’s Felidia in NYC), and Gianfranco Sorrentino (owner of Il Gattopardo, The Leopard at Des Artistes, and Mozzarella & Vino in NYC).
While the panel’s tips mostly focused on how to get Italian wines onto a restaurant’s list, their advice applies to any wine region or producer looking to market their wines in the U.S.:
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*Originally Posted By Joe Giumarra For The Momentum Group*
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As PR people, there is no more powerful medium than television. You love your client and you want the world to love them too, so what’s better than zapping them into millions of viewers living rooms. Pitching television is not easy but following a few simple steps and a lot of persistence can guarantee morning show success!
1. Research is king. Before you write the first word of your pitch, you “need to know the audience, the people watching the show you’re pitching.” If you’re pitching a morning show, for instance, your story should appeal to stay-at-home moms and seniors, who are most likely to be home during the day.
2. Short is good. Punchy is better. Given people’s packed schedules and abbreviated attention spans, the length of your pitch definitely matters.
3.Be the squeaky wheel. The goal of your pitch is to get attention. Once you’ve done that, you’ll need to follow up, often multiple times, by email and phone
4.Keep rejection in perspective. A “no” can mean “not right now” or “not for this show.” It’s not uncommon for a producer to forward a good pitch to the producer of another show that may better fit that particular story.
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Colangelo & Partners Public Relations Reports Significant Growth in 2013
Colangelo & Partners Public Relations (www.colangelopr.com) grew substantially in 2013 compared to the previous year, expanding the agency’s geographic and topical expertise across the food, wine and spirits sectors. Annual revenue increased approximately 80% to over $3 million along with 50%+ growth in the number of accounts. The agency has been engaged by brands and wine/food marketing institutions from Italy, Portugal, Spain, South Africa, Croatia, Poland and California.
“2013 was a breakthrough year for Colangelo & Partners and we expect to continue our steep growth curve in 2014,” said Gino Colangelo, president of Colangelo & Partners. The New York-based agency was named one of the year’s top integrated communications firms at the 2013 PR News Agency Elite Awards.
Wine-focused clients led the 2013 growth followed by accounts in the culinary category. New clients include wine brands (Mulderbosch Vineyards, Cultivate Wines, Avignonesi, Damilano, Berlucchi), institutions (Wines of South Africa, Amarone Families, Wines of the Veneto, Movimento Turismo Vini Puglia), restaurants (Il Gattopardo, Mozzarella & Vino) food marketers (Golden Blossom Honey, Nocciolata, Ballymaloe from Ireland) and media personalities (Victor Rallo).
The agency’s expansion brought a wave of new hires and promotions as well. Alessandro Boga, former senior account executive, has been promoted to account supervisor. Denise Finnegan and Paul Yanon, previously account executives, are both new senior account executives. Pola Avrasin, the digital media specialist of the agency, has been promoted to account executive, along with Margot Dempsey.
Megan Battista joined CPR as account executive, Juliana Colangelo as event coordinator, Kara McKenna as assistant AE, and Jennifer Ziplow and Angelica Schiavone as account coordinators. Tiffany Pondelik is the new special events manager overseeing CPR’s expanding events business. Colangelo & Partners increased staff overall by 100% to support the 2013 growth.
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25% of smartphone owners ages 18-44 say they can’t recall the last time their smartphone wasn’t next to them (Source: marketingprofs.com)
This most recent statistic on smartphone usage further pushes the importance of keeping mobile in mind when planning each and every marketing activity for your clients. More so than any year in the past, 2014 really will be the year of mobile. With access to smartphones comes access to internet, anywhere and anytime. This opens up an entire new way to consider how your marketing messages are being read – that Facebook post may be appearing on a user’s Galaxy while they are picking up coffee and your last YouTube video might be viewed not in full screen on a desktop but rather in a 2” form on an iPhone while the viewer is walking his dog. What to keep in mind: keep your message short and concise, with an easy (mobile-friendly) share link. And most importantly, always test on (a variety of) mobile.
The award for Cune Imperial Gran Reserva 2004 as best wine of the year by Wine Spectator is the perfect reflection of the evolution of Spanish wine in the U.S. market. The article presenting the winning wine, written by Thomas Matthews, states that this award is the culmination of twenty years of progress of Spanish wine.
Ten years ago we only saw cheap Rioja or Ribera del Duero Wines in American wine stores, especially competing in the good value segment with other cheap wine from Chile or Australia. For many years, the amount of Spanish product didn’t change (around 12 million bottles each year). However, a decade ago, the number started improving and now this is getting dramatic, with steady growth that has already quadrupled those exports.
Shanken News Daily reports that bottled wine exports from Spain to the U.S. increased by 8% in 2012 to 52 million bottles and the trend is accelerating. Large groups like Southern Wine & Spirits have expanded their portfolio of Spanish wines and view them like an area of interest to traders, rather than being a mere supplement. And we can see more and more dedicated articles to this Spanish phenomenon.
But all this is not a mere coincidence; the Wines of Spain campaigns (the wine section of the Spanish Institute for Foreign Trade) with important events like Spain’s Great Match, the activity of some relevant DO’s in the country like Rueda, Ribera, Rioja or Rias Baixas among others and the hard work of some importers have achieved that Spanish wines are perceived as an opportunity rather than a risk.
One more key element has been the popularity of Spanish cuisine through famous chefs like Ferran Adriá and especially the work of José Andrés. The prestige of their cuisine has led to an increased interest in Spanish products in general.
Another important trend observed is the growth of the Spanish wine exports in value by 6.4% in the U.S. between January and September 2013, up from 2.082 million euros. However, volume sales have fallen by 18.2% to nearly 1,500 million liters. That shows a different positioning of Spanish wine, competing now with more expensive wines and also a market acceptance that sees those wines as a quality, smart purchase.
A large majority of Spanish wines in the U.S. are sold below $20 per bottle, and many for less than $10. But the sector is moving within the sub $20 bottle, increasing the prices from around $10 to around the $15. Consumers are distinguishing regions of production and their differences, as in the case of Rioja and Ribera del Duero. Another exciting thing is to see that caste, which was not well known here, such as Albariño, Tempranillo or Verdejo, is gradually entering the field than usual. Now restaurants serve these wines by the glass when five or ten years ago it was very unusual.
Spanish wines are working well in the U.S. There are many wines that move not only between $15 and $20, but also between $20 and $30, because people see Spanish wines as good alternatives to more expensive Bordeaux and Napa. This will be beneficial for everyone, from Spanish wines expensive and cheap, to American consumers that will have more access to high quality at a good price.