Wine Industry

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

    I seem to have established the reputation as someone who knows a thing or two about “content marketing.” We’ll get to a definition of that in a moment, but first, two examples of how that view has attached itself to me.

    7 readers - By STEVE HEIMOFF

    What makes a winery great?

    I took a rare day off from the blog yesterday, and I know you notice when I do, because I hear from you! Which I’m grateful for. I sometimes refer to my “Thursday Throwaway” and “Friday Fishwrap” posts, because I well know we writers must be appreciative of every individual who reads us—we shouldn’t assume anyone actually does–especially those readers who come every day expecting something new.

    6 readers - By STEVE HEIMOFF

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

      Señorita Vino - - 5 readers - Picking up where we left off, this past May I was invited by Planet Bordeaux, the marketing arm for France’s Bordeaux and Bordeaux Supérieur AOC, to be a guest judge at the 75th Annual Los Angeles International Wine Competition. Since the Bordeaux panel wasn’t until Thursday morning, I was asked to observe a panel of judges evaluating Rhone blends on Wednesday afternoon.

      A tale of two bars: dives and tasting rooms

      STEVE HEIMOFF - - 4 readers - 1. Is the dive bar doomed? I have two images in my head of the classic American dive bar. One is from the movies, where so many scenes of intrigue, drama and violence have occurred in them. I think of the Silver Bullet, the bar in Thelma and Louise, for example, with its country & western band, pool table and cowboy drifters chugging beer from the bottle.

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

      Señorita Vino - - 4 readers - 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.

      Vintage 2014, and California declares war on small wineries

      STEVE HEIMOFF - - 4 readers - With the first (light) rain of the season expected tomorrow (today, as you read this) north of the Golden Gate Bridge, I thought it was a good time to consider the 2014 vintage in California. So, as usual, I asked my loyal Facebook friends, who responded in force. The story is this: short, compressed harvest. Record early, in many cases a month before normal.

    The latest about Wine Industry

      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…

      4 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…

      4 readers - By 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

      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

      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

      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

      Fake wine? Nothing new

      …   Everybody’s shocked, shocked about what Rudi Kurwanian did, but faking wine is nothing new. Below is an extract from Cato the Elder (234 BC-149 BC), a Roman statesman, on how to fake Coan wine—a wine that should have been made from grapes grown on the island of Kos, but that, as Cato points out, can be fabricated using cheap Italian grapes…

      9 readers - By STEVE HEIMOFF

      Print down, but not out, yet

      … have chaos, whether it’s in domestic affairs or in something as relatively calm as the wine industry. All this drives wine marketers bonkers. They try to come up with messages that appeal to all groups, and realize how difficult that can be. The broader the message, the less refined it is; the more refined, the less broad; but this, at least…

      1 readers - By STEVE HEIMOFF

      If there’s a “new wine style,” what is it?

      …   “A shift in the consumer base,” fueled by “a new wave of innovation in global wine styles”: that’s what Rabobank, one of the the nation’s biggest lenders to wineries, is talking about, in their latest report on the wine industry. And when Rabobank talks, wineries listen. Every winery in the country—certainly every winery I know…

      10 readers - By STEVE HEIMOFF

      Is “terroir” a social construct, or an objective fact?

      … with the creativity of man elevates the entire wine-forming formula into what he calls “cru.”) Whether or not you include the grower and winemaker along with climate and soil in your definition of terroir, for Michaux, is irrelevant. For she believes that the end quality of a wine, as well as its critical reception in the marketplace, is due to neither…

      17 readers - By STEVE HEIMOFF