Archive for the ‘Social Media’ Category

We can only wish ...

We can only wish …

 

Let me be clear. I don’t make wine. I have never made wine. Everything I may know about making wine comes first from books and secondly from correlating what winemakers say about making wine with how their wines taste.

Over the years, I have accumulated a lot of “learning”, and I can now say with full conviction that there is no one way to make wine.

I have heard all the theories, listened as winemakers proclaimed everything from biodynamics to barrel aging, from high acid to high approachability as the only answers, the “right” answers.

I have had to hold my tongue with some difficulty as winemaker after winemaker disparaged their peers whose wines I have praised in print. “Added a little water”? “Added acid”? “Used more than 25% new oak”? All verboten.
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(by Gemma Correll)

 

My sixth Wine Bloggers Conference was approached with trepidation. I’ve been questioning the utility of the semantics of “blogger” and “wine blogger” of late. Also, I knew nothing of Penticton, British Columbia. Finally, very few of my closer blogging-friends and colleagues would be in attendance.

The format was the same. Bring together “wine bloggers” in a wine region to discover that region, learn about wines from other parts of the world, explore their wine writing avocation amongst their peers and strengthen the camaraderie of the group. It turns out my trepidation was without merit. It was a very successful conference for me despite nearly coughing up my lungs with a nasty bout of the flu. I learned a lot this weekend.

1. Modern Greek Vin Santo is an amazing wine and should be discovered by all wine lovers.

2. Lungs can’t actually be “coughed up”, but you can exercise and tighten up your stomach muscles in the process of discovering it’s not possible.

3. Penticton, British Columbia really is a “must visit” for serious wine lovers, and its “Penticton Lakeside Resort” was the most beautiful venue yet for a Wine Bloggers Conference.

4. It would do all wine bloggers good to focus equally as much on the quality of their writing as on the extent of their wine knowledge.

 

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stiletto boot and mouse

 

While the empty bottles have long been gathered, the words continue to flow following the 2013 Wine Bloggers Conference, which concluded just a few days ago, in Penticton, British Columbia.

The Wine Blogger’s Conference has run for six years now, and this year brought together over 200 bloggers who share their love of the ancient fare either in personal blogs or with paid gigs at magazines or newspapers. It’s an enormous networking opportunity, as well as a chance to personally meet growers and bottlers, who want to make media connections of their own, and to show appreciation.

It’s also a sign of just how much wine blogging’s combined and varied voice has grown lately. Increasingly, readers are adding what’s served up to their RSS feeds, as digital sommeliers help them figure out what wines go with life in general.

Wine bloggers are far more than individuals who toss one back then bandy about terms like “oaky” or “buttery”, “grassy” or “mellow” for the rest of us to decipher. They truly want to broaden the wine-tasting experiences of their readers, trying out perhaps lesser-known wines from around the globe, in search of unique flavors that vintners have brought forth through a variety of secretive techniques. Bloggers Peter and Nancy at Pull That Cork just recently covered their experience with wines from South Africa, while blending in a history of the wine-growing history of the Cape area.
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Today I’d love to share 8 fun tips for drinking wine!

It’s nerdy, but I like learning etiquette tips (do you?) and thought you might like to hear these fascinating wine dos and don’ts before heading out to holiday parties and romantic dinners. Below, I wrote out the tips, and the genius Gemma Correll illustrated them. Here goes…

1. Fill red wine glasses 1/3 full, white wine glasses 1/2 full, and sparkling wine 3/4 full.

 
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A Brazilian company has designed a glass that only stands upright when it is rested on a mobile phone.

Designed by Fischer & Friends, the “Offline Glass” has part of its base cut away which means it can only stand when supported by a mobile phone.

The new chopp glass (traditional Brazilian beer serving) is meant to discourage drinkers from looking at their phones when they should be enjoying spending time with their friends.
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As he often does, wine scribe Joe Roberts wrote something relevant the other day. He explained that for those considering how they might make a name for themselves, for their writing and for their wine knowledge through publishing, this person should strongly consider SPECIALIZING.

By this, Joe simply means it’s much easier to get the attention of potential readers if your authority and wine writing revolves around a specific subject within the wine niche, rather than trying to publish information that broadly falls under the larger subject heading of “Wine”. In other words, the writer looking to gain an audience for his wine thoughts and ideas is more likely to achieve a larger audience by writing regularly and authoritatively on “Zinfandel”, than just on “wine”.

I’ve heard this advice before. I’ve been in seminars where this advice is given. I’ve given this advice myself. But what you rarely hear is advice on exactly what niche wine subject is ripe for owning by a smart, new writer dreaming of success as an author or blogger. What you don’t hear is someone pointing out a subject area that has largely been ignored, but that is also ripe for extensive examination and exploration because it’s a fairly large niche. Identifying that kind of subject matter would be a gift to the wine loving writer that wants to make their mark.

This is what I’m going to do right now.
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The health lobby in France has invoked the Evin Law in a call for stricter limits on what bloggers and social media users can write about wine online.

 
A report on the issues of addiction in France entitled ‘Les Dommages Liés Aux Addictions et les Strategies Validées pour Reduire Ces Dommages’ (Damage related to addictions and strategies for reducing the damage) is being prepared as part of the background to forming government policy from 2013-2017.

One of the suggestions put forward is that alcohol promotion should be formally forbidden on the internet and social media, including promotion of wine.

Specific sites belonging to producers, online wine merchants or wine tourism sites would be exempt, but wine bloggers would fall under the definition of sites that would be no longer authorised, as would any specific advertising or promotion of wine.
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The brewing industries in many countries are undergoing dramatic changes, with increasing numbers of craft breweries challenging the traditional volume-based business model of major corporations.

In the US for example, more than 400 breweries opened in 2012, an increase of 17% from the year before. Craft beer continues to grow even when beer consumption overall is declining in many markets around the world. This certainly seems to be the trend in countries like the US, Canada, New Zealand and indeed Australia.

In 1990, the centralisation of the Australian beer industry seemed complete; three companies controlled the market and the whole country had just 11 breweries. Yet this seems to have been the turning point rather than the end state: 20 years later the craft beer sector had well and truly made its entrance so that by 2013, Australia’s beer industry consists of over 130 breweries.

The trend suggests craft breweries have found a niche market where the large breweries find it hard to compete. Craft beer is often differentiated by taste, as a food companion and by the raw material used to produce it. Enthusiasts sometimes refer to the common beers in derogatory terms as “fizzy yellow lagers”. Some may reject mainstream beer products based on a perceived lack of flavour; others reject it based on ownership of the label.

Some pub mangers around Melbourne refuse to serve beers that are not produced by small independent companies due to negative attitudes towards large multinational businesses, and a belief that craft beer can only be produced by small and independent businesses. Independent craft breweries have been able to make something positive out of their small size by framing themselves as unique and it is resonating with drinkers and pub owners alike.

While beer consumption in Australia has decreased steadily every year since 1979, consumers increasingly demand quality beers and the consumption of craft beers is increasing. ABC news reported that the consumption of craft beer in Australia is increasing by 6% every year. Nevertheless, the beer industry in Australia is still largely centralised, with multinationals SAB Miller (UK) and Kirin Holding (Japan) controlling about 90% of the market.

Yet it is this very high centralisation of the industry, where the large players can be regarded as “generalists”, that provides the opening for small players to enter the market as “specialists”. For craft breweries, such concentration of power in the industry is actually good news because these breweries serve a different market.

The specialists are often focused on selling more than just beer. They are selling an experience, quite often centred on educating consumers about beer styles and how to match it with food. As such, the craft beer industry is tapping into the monopoly of the wine industry as being the natural beverage to accompany a meal.

 

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love is in the air ...

love is in the air …

A new dating site aimed at wine lovers has been launched by Francoise Pauly, the founder of wine jobs website VineaJobs.

 
VineaLove is aimed at wine aficionados and professionals alike, and will be available in several languages. It has already signed up eight ambassadors – all wine professionals or with a wine background – to promote the site in the Netherlands, Japan, Romania, Turkey, USA, Italy, Morocco and France.

‘There are so many dating websites out there, but I could only find one small one in the US that is aimed at wine lovers, and that is closed to anyone outside America,’ Pauly told Decanter.com.
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Neft Vodka ad...

 

New research suggests that market leaders in the alcohol industry are being left behind in social video marketing because “they are not optimising their content for social web”.
Video technology company Unruly, has published a report called “Untapped Potential: The State of Sharing in the Alcohol Sector”, which found that despite enjoying significant growth in the last quarter, a staggering 97% of the alcohol sector’s video shares came from just four adverts. The four ads, which came from Budweiser, Carlsberg, Heineken and little-known Russian-Austrian vodka brand, Neft, represent less than 1% of the alcohol adverts released in 2013.

The report also suggests that market leaders such as Diageo and SAB Miller are lagging behind in social video sharing, while wine brands have remained the slowest to embrace social video, attracting less than 1% of the sharing activity during the final quarter of 2012 and the first of 2013. This trend was also noticeable earlier this year, when db revealed the Top 10 brands ruling social media.

Ian Forrester, Unruly’s insight director, said: “The research found that some of the big alcohol brands – and subsectors – are vastly underperforming in social video.

“For wine and spirit brands, the opportunity to increase brand awareness and sales conversion rates through social video is huge, as there has been very little mass movement from these brands in creating shareable video content.

“Additionally, leading brands like Diageo and SAB Miller that have very strong market share are lagging behind competitors when it comes to social video share of voice.”

The report also highlighted the impact of spirits brands on beer brands, which historically dominate alcohol advertising. Beer brands’ share of voice dropped from 97% in the fourth quarter of 2012 to 75% in the first quarter of 2013.

The report also published details of the most shared alcohol videos of all time, and you can click through the following pages to find out which these videos were.
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