Wine Industry

    The Wall of Wine, Stories, and Consumer Psychology

    I was on the panel of a wine event last week, and one of my fellow panelists was from one of the nation’s biggest Big Box grocery retailers. I asked him, “Will the infamous Wall of Wine be always with us?” and he answered, “Yes. Retail is here to stay.” Indeed it is, as a basic function of human interaction: I buy something wholesale and sell it to you retail, for a profit.

    7 readers - By STEVE HEIMOFF

    What is a wine with “personality”?

    While we’re on the subject of storytelling (we are, in case you haven’t been reading steveheimoff.com lately), let’s consider the role of personality in a story. “A personality” is what people call a person who isn’t bland or forgettable, but instead someone who impresses himself on others through the sheer force of—well, personality.

    6 readers - By STEVE HEIMOFF

      Some execs are “worried,” but really, there’s nothing to worry about wine’s future

      STEVE HEIMOFF - - 5 readers - Nobody asked, but here’s my two cents on “top Golden State vintners [express] concern about the future of the $23.1 billion industry, especially among the discerning millennial market.” That’s from Tuesday’s Santa Rosa Press Democrat, which reported on “a UC Davis survey of 26 senior executives” in the state, and found that “Everyone was a little bit worried.

      DTC, snobs and marketing segmentation: A personal view

      STEVE HEIMOFF - - 5 readers - “Wines delivered to your door” has been the business theme of direct-to-consumer entrepreneurs since as long as I can remember. I used to be a member of one of these subscription services, back in the early 1980s. I can’t remember the name (I’m sure someone out there will remind me), but they sold German wines that “arrived at your door” on a monthly basis.

      O.K. , you have your social media data. Now, what good is it?

      STEVE HEIMOFF - - 4 readers - I asked it six years ago, five years ago, four, three and two years ago, and I’m asking it now. And it’s not just me: That bastion of U.S. capitalism itself, the Wall Street Journal, is asking the same question. In a five-column headline in last Monday’s Marketplace section, they wondered “What is all that data worth?” (The online version of the article has a slightly different headline.

      How do you know it’s not just a trend?

      STEVE HEIMOFF - - 4 readers - Back in 1999, a wine writer, Randall Murray, called Sangiovese “the next Merlot,” by which he meant that the red grape native to Tuscany was poised to become one of the leading red wines of California. Never happened, did it? Actually, by 1999, Sangiovese already had one foot in the grave. Ten years prior, one might have been forgiven for betting on it, but by the approach of th ...

    The latest about Wine Industry

      What is a wine with “personality”?

      … Classico Riserva were almost a commodity, wines that didn’t have such a strong personality, so they said we have to find a way to give a value to such products that are outstanding.” “Strong personality?” Is Mr. Zonin talking about the wine’s organoleptic qualities, or is he talking about the perception of the wine among the critical community…

      6 readers - By STEVE HEIMOFF

      O.K. , you have your social media data. Now, what good is it?

      …. We know beyond a doubt that the metrics of social media use are huge. Everybody is Facebooking, tweeting, Instagramming, pinning and so on. They’re liking and following and retweeting each other like crazy. For this reason, wine companies feel, with “the fierce urgency of now,” that they have to get onboard, before the train leaves the station…

      4 readers - By STEVE HEIMOFF

      How do you know it’s not just a trend?

      …Back in 1999, a wine writer, Randall Murray, called Sangiovese “the next Merlot,” by which he meant that the red grape native to Tuscany was poised to become one of the leading red wines of California. Never happened, did it? Actually, by 1999, Sangiovese already had one foot in the grave. Ten years prior, one might have been forgiven for betting…

      4 readers - By STEVE HEIMOFF

      The Wall of Wine, Stories, and Consumer Psychology

      …I was on the panel of a wine event last week, and one of my fellow panelists was from one of the nation’s biggest Big Box grocery retailers. I asked him, “Will the infamous Wall of Wine be always with us?” and he answered, “Yes. Retail is here to stay.” Indeed it is, as a basic function of human interaction: I buy something wholesale and sell…

      7 readers - By STEVE HEIMOFF

      DTC, snobs and marketing segmentation: A personal view

      …“Wines delivered to your door” has been the business theme of direct-to-consumer entrepreneurs since as long as I can remember. I used to be a member of one of these subscription services, back in the early 1980s. I can’t remember the name (I’m sure someone out there will remind me), but they sold German wines that “arrived at your door…

      5 readers - By STEVE HEIMOFF

      Vintage 2014, and California declares war on small wineries

      … before normal. (This means that Autumn rains should not be a problem. If they actually come, which everyone is hoping they will.) A good crop, tonnage-wise, not a record, but then, it comes on the heels of two record-setting years (2012, 2013). Quality? Overall, pretty good. The wines should be plump and approachable. Several people commented on soft…

      5 readers - By STEVE HEIMOFF

      What it’s like to be a #wine judge – part 2 #LACountyFair

      … this before. Oh, and did I mention the other judges at your table include a Napa Valley winemaker, a well-known Hong Kong wine journalist, a veteran wine industry publicist, and the head chef and wine guru for The Fancy House Where The Founder of the World’s Most Recognized “Lad Magazine” Parties With “Cute Little Rabbits” (wink, wink)? I kid you…

      5 readers - By Señorita Vino

      A tale of two bars: dives and tasting rooms

      … the bottle. (You’d never order wine in such a place!) The other image I have is from my own past. There used to be a place in San Francisco, South of Market, in Clementina Alley, which in the Eighties was not the yuppified haven it is now. It was called, for a variety of reasons, the Headquarters. On any given night you’d have drag queens…

      5 readers - By Steve Heimoff/ STEVE HEIMOFF

      What it’s like to be a #wine judge – part 1 #LACountyFair

      …September in Los Angeles means it’s time for the L.A. County Fair. Award-winning wines from this year’s Los Angeles International Wine Competition will be poured, and let it be known that yours truly was asked to be a guest judge at this year’s Competition back in May. Trust me, no one was more surprised than I was. Photo by Nancy Newman My…

      4 readers - By Señorita Vino

      Tales from Content City, or How I Learned to be a Storyteller

      … on storytelling (if in fact that’s what I am). I set out to be a wine writer and critic. Telling stories didn’t seem to be a part of my job, but looking back, in retrospect, that’s what I was doing from Day One. It’s just that the concept and terminology of telling stories didn’t invade the wine industry until comparatively recently. Yet when I wrote about…

      7 readers - By Steve Heimoff/ STEVE HEIMOFF

      The Empire Strikes Back: Laube Takes on IPOB

      …Brother Laube comes out swinging against In Pursuit of Balance, in the Sept. 30 issue of Wine Spectator. (Sorry, no link. The Spectator has one of the best firewalls in the business. No subscribe, no read.) I’d been wondering how long it would take him. After all, Jim is famous for giving high scores to ripe, plush wines that can be high…

      2 readers - By Steve Heimoff/ STEVE HEIMOFF

      What makes a winery great?

      … it) without a hangover. Yes, friends, it’s true: If you work in the wine industry, chances are you like to drink wine—and beer—and liquor. Sometimes all three together. So thanks to the Hangover Gods for sparing me. The wine industry is a big place. I sometimes think consumers don’t know how big, or how complicated. Winemakers and owners tend to get…

      6 readers - By Steve Heimoff/ STEVE HEIMOFF

      When it’s time to kiill off a brand

      … suggests that the demise of each winery or brand is due to its own peculiar causes; but we can generalize about them all and say they failed to keep up with the times. You can tell when a winery’s failing to keep up with the times by looking at who it sells wine to, especially through its club. Are its customers all “of a certain age…

      1 readers - By STEVE HEIMOFF

      A new winery P.R. website is born

      … is the entire wine industry; the two are interrelated. For it seems to me that we are leaving, if we haven’t already left, the “classical” era of winery P.R. and are chugging along into one that—as with all futures—we see only “through a glass, darkly.” Tom has it exactly right when he states “The Number One Golden Truth of Wine Public and Media…

      By STEVE HEIMOFF