More at The Pronunciation Guide.
My pal Dave Goodman passed along this post from Lifehacker with a nifty Excel spreadsheet for rating wines.
And who could resist a bath mat made out of used corks!
Lifehacker ("tips and downloads for getting things done") is a blog worth following, even if it's not about wine most of the time. Take a browse with your Sunday cup of coffee. I'd be surprised if you don't find something worth the time.
I would think that winning this contest would be a walk in the park for people who sell fermented grape juice for a living.
And if you won, think of the free publicity! Especially if you're these guys.
(I saw the contest a couple days ago, but it took Steve Heimoff's post to see the connection to the winery business.)
I was surprised to see how many wine-related titles there are on this list of all the For Dummies books (in order of popularity):
The "All-in-One" combines all of the starred titles in one book. Reflecting the growth of interest in certain wine regions, Australian & New Zealand Wine For Dummies will be released on March 18, 2010.
(Just to put wine books in perspective, the best-selling For Dummies book has an Amazon sales rank of 413. Wine For Dummies is ranked 13,943rd.)
In contrast, the Complete Idiot's Guide series has only a couple of titles related to wine:
Have a read with your cup of Sunday morning coffee: The brand, the package, the story and the worldview
We start with this: if I've already purchased and liked your product, the packaging isn't nearly as important. I'm talking here about packaging as a sales tool for converting browsers into buyers. (If you're already a buyer, all I need to do is remind you what we look like).
If this doesn't make sense to you, wander into the wine section of your local market and look at the all the pretty labels.Enjoy your Valentine's Day!
MyWineDirect has some interesting predictions for the future of the wine business to accompany your Sunday morning coffee.
I found #10 (white wine will make a comeback), since according to Nielsen Marketing Research, Chardonnay is still far and away the most popular wine in America (followed by Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot).
(my Nielsen information came from a breakfast talk by Bob Aldridge of St. Francis Winery last month.)
What do you see in your crystal ball? Leave a comment.
Don't try this at home, kids!
If you visit the page on YouTube, you'll see there's some controversy regarding the veracity of this video. If anyone attempts to confirm the results of this experiment (outside!), I'd love to hear about it.
If that wasn't enough for your, yhere are only two days left to take my 2010 Winery Sales Survey (to be summarized in a future post on this blog). If you own a winery and haven't taken it yet, please do. Thanks!
The 2010 Winery Sales Survey. It's confidential, and I'd really appreciate it.
If you don't own or manage a winery, please pass it along to any wineries you know. That's just as helpful.
If you don't want to take the survey, please leave me a comment telling me what's wrong with it from your perspective.
From this excellent Wall Street Journal article on wine judging, it appears that wine critics aren't particularly consistent, nor do they share the same opinions of a given wine.
Francesco Grande, a vintner whose family started making wine in 1827 Italy, told me of a friend at a well-known Paso Robles winery who had conducted his own test, sending the same wine to a wine competition under three different labels. Two of the identical samples were rejected, he said, "one with the comment 'undrinkable.' " The third bottle was awarded a double gold medal.
So, drink what you like, medals and points be damned!
It's just fascinating to listen to John Neese, the owner of Galco's Soda Pop Stop in Los Angeles, talk about soda pop:
Their soda pop Web site isn't elegant, and they have an extremely obnoxious sound loop on the first page, but they do have a good call to action (featuring 3 different sodas) and clear navigation once you enter the online store.
This is an engaging video because the guy has a good story to tell, and the video itself is professionally edited.
(thanks to Seth Godin for the pointer - you may want to read his take on what this video represents.)
Whether you agree with this list of 50 things a restaurant staffer should never do or not, it's probably worthwhile to consider a list like this for your tasting room personnel. Consistent, pleasant, and respectful conduct is one mark of a great customer service organization.
Is this too heavy handed? If you had a list like this, would you share it publicly (e.g. post it on your Web site or blog)? What do you think? Leave a comment.
(tip of the hat to the always-interesting Jason Kottke)
Update 11/06/2009: here's part 2, containing another 50 things staffers should never do for a grand total of 100. As with many things online, the comments are nearly as instructive.
Definitely NSFW (Not Safe For Work) or anywhere delicate ears might hear it (no sex or nudity, just good old Anglo-Saxon words).
This cartoon is spot on with regard to the rise of the Social Media carpetbaggers. Remember the main point: With social media, you do the work.
Please let me know if I stepped over the line with this one.
I hadn't watched this until now. Pretty amazing. Particularly the Kindle statistic.
I know for a fact that traffic to this blog increases when I tweet about a post. As with blogging, other forms of social media like Facebook, Twitter, and You Tube aren't for every winery, take time to pursue, and can be (sometimes unwittingly) abused.
Enjoy the video (the music is Fatboy Slim's "Right Here, Right Now"). And, for those who haven't see it, the inspiration for this video, also full of illuminating factoids:
Schools in session: Josh Hermsmeyer teaches us what an interesting winery video looks like.
Admittedly, "brett" is a somewhat-estoeric subject for a video, but Josh does a great job talking about it. He's a natural in front of the camera, and he tells a good story.
Take 4 minutes and 34 seconds with your Sunday morning coffee and watch Josh show how it's done.
(Josh - if you read this, I'd love a comment from you about the why and how of this video series, i.e. the backstory.)
Consider that at least some of your customers and potential customers are getting older.
A pretty cool example of how, when social media words, it *really* works.
As you know, Lazy Sunday posts tend to be a bit off-topic.
Here's something fun to do while you have a cup of coffee: WhichTestWon.com
For those of you who enjoyed Freakonomics, there's a New York Times blog written by the same fellows, along with guest writers.
A newly-added guest economist, Robin Goldstein, writes about wine and the wine industry.
Welcome to Hollywood! What's your dream? Everybody comes here; this is Hollywood, land of dreams. Some dreams come true, some don't; but keep on dreamin' - this is Hollywood. Always time to dream, so keep on dreamin'.
There's been a lot of talk about what constitutes a conflict of interest for wine bloggers and wine writers (and now I'm contributing to it ).
Here's an interesting thought for your Sunday morning from Seth Godin: Eternal September
The Harvard Business Review has an interesting post, titled When Customer Loyalty Is a Bad Thing.
Baxters are cool.
If you haven't spent 26 minutes watching the abrasively-named Robert Parker's Bitch, it's worth taking the time with your Sunday morning cup of brewed beverage to listen to the dulcet voice of Tina Caputo.
With Valentine's Day next Saturday (men: don't forget!), I feel obligated to bring you this story about chocolate-covered wine bottles.
Another example of creative packaging is dipping a bottle in eight ounces of chocolate. "I was reaching out to my local Napa chocolatier for our typical 'wine and chocolate truffles' gifts, when we thought, 'how cool would it be to dip the entire bottle in chocolate?'"
If every critic ala Ebert, in his way would disclose the yardstick by which he generates the stars, thumbs, or Little Man of his reviews, it would go a long way toward educating readers;
You think the 100-point scale is bad? Take a moment from your Sunday morning to look at rating movie rating systems. When it comes to rating movies, it appears there's a difference betwen "signficance" and "enjoyable."