Brands and reassurance

I’ve been thinking a bit about brands of late, and it is coffee that prompted my thoughts.

I was in Washington State in June, and you just couldn’t get away from Starbucks. Every hotel had Starbucks coffee, aside from the ubiquitous Starbucks stores. My coffee geek friends tell me that Starbucks coffee isn’t very good. But [...]

Nomacorc's owners diversify, adding natural cork, glass and screwcap to their portfolio

In an interesting development, Vinventions, the parent company that purchased the leading synthetic wine closure company Nomacorc earlier this year, has acquired Rudolf Ohlinger, a screwcap and natural cork manufacturer/distributor. This marks the beginning of the diversification of Vinventions, away from being a single closure-type company – and this is a significant step.

Nomacorc has been [...]

The Petainer 'wine on tap' system for restaurants

Is wine on tap the future for the on-trade? At the London wine fair I had a chance to check out the Petainer Keg wine delivery system, which was being demonstrated on the Roberson stand. I quizzed business development manager Adam Green about it, and tried some wines.

Petainer is a wine delivery system for restaurants [...]

Limited success: the enemy of real success

My view is that limited success is the enemy of real success. Many wineries are selling enough wine that they just keep going with their current strategies, even though these are not optimal, and are actually limiting their future success.

The problem is that when things are sort of working, people are reluctant to make the [...]

Thinking aloud about wine marketing

I’m in an airport. It’s a place where you are bombarded by marketing messages. It’s made me think about wine marketing.

Spirit producers tend to do a lot more marketing than wine producers. It’s not the fault of wine producers: it’s just that the world of spirits is a much more branded space than that of [...]

The Mirabeau YouTube miracle

Wine videos on YouTube don’t usually get all that many views. Mine occasionally go into four figures (unless it’s about labradoodles, where I can hit six!), but some recognized wine journos regularly fail to get to 100.

It’s everyone’s dream, of course, that their video will go viral. For Stephen Cronk, of Provence producer Mirabeau, the dream [...]

Free e-book on grape varieties

This is interesting. It’s a free e-book on grape varieties from Kym Anderson, a wine economist at the University of Adelaide. It is packed full of statistics, and represents and amazing resource. This will be incredibly useful for writers and students of wines. You can access it here.

My wine predictions for 2014

Predicting the future is a mug’s game, but it’s fun, and I’m a bit of a mug. So here goes – my wine predictions for 2014.

The commoditization of wine will continue apace
Supermarkets do their job well. For most people, wine is just wine, and they want a glass of something red, white, pink, or fizzy [...]

My take on the global wine shortage story

Wine is in the news again. Apparently there is soon going to be a global shortage. More people are drinking wine while vineyard area is decreasing. At the moment, consumption is higher than production, but we aren’t feeling the pinch yet because there’s still plenty of wine from previous vintages in the pipeline: remember, it [...]

Red Obsession, a film about wine

Warwick Ross, filmmaker, and Simon Staples

Red Obsession is a compelling film. It tells the story of the rise in interest in the top wines of Bordeaux, and how China has fallen in love with wine. With the 2009 and 2010 vintages, prices reached unprecedented levels. The Chinese market has embraced these wines and is now the  [...]