Wine Industry

    I’m the new “go with” wine guy

    …, sellers and buyers, meeting on the playing field, and may the best man win. One of the reasons why I took this job at Jackson Family Wines was, obviously, because it’s a great company, with the greatest portfolio of family-owned wines in California, maybe in all the world, IMHO. It was easy for me, in the comfort of my own home, to review their wines…

    3 readers - By STEVE HEIMOFF

    What is a wine with “personality”?

    … and consumers? I confess I don’t know, but this meme of “personality” in wine ties in nicely to the storytelling aspect that has enveloped wine lately. It seems that every winery—and its marketing team—wants consumers to form a personal bond with the wine—as if they have a stake in it. This is the elusive “personality” of the wine that makes…

    6 readers - By STEVE HEIMOFF

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

    … 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…

    4 readers - By STEVE HEIMOFF

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

    … might think CEOs are constantly looking for the next trend. But in what the Wall Street Journal is calling “a broader shift in retail,” more and more companies are showing “a preference for operators over trend spotters,” causing them to seek leaders “whose strength is in the nuts and bolts of retailing rather than flashy merchandising.” The word…

    4 readers - By STEVE HEIMOFF

    The Wall of Wine, Stories, and Consumer Psychology

    …, the top of my little head exploded at that. You know that we’ve been talking about “stories” quite a bit here at steveheimoff.com. Stories are the new black of marketing: the latest, hottest trend in the industry. Until my experience at that tasting, I had not perhaps appreciated the power of a good story, told by a trusted authority figure…

    8 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

    … 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…

    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