Thursday, May 22, 2008

“New Media Marketing” in the International Drinks Business

I'm at our booth at the London International Wine Fair/Distil and I am surprised at the lack of top-of-mind awareness, much less any experience with or understanding of what I’ll call new media marketing. By that I mean everything from organic SEO and PPC to the social marketing programs we’re working on with outreach to bloggers, drinks sites and social networking sites. It simply doesn’t come up in conversations either at Distil or the Wine Fair side of the show. And even when I mention it the response is something vague like, yeah…we sort of heard about that stuff.

And fuhgeddabout e-commerce!….lots of interest but no idea on how to or who to ask about it. We’ve got two very creative solutions we’re developing for those opportunities. And I’ll speak to both of them in future posts. Ta for now. Sphere: Related Content

LIWF/Distil Day 2

I was the only one working our booth so had limited time to explore the two shows. The wine side was huge with a diversity of places, varietals, styles and types that , well honestly, surprised me that I was surprised. Coupling my lack of familiarity with the European market with Europeans’ lack of familiarity with the U.S. market gave me a new perspective on what we’re doing with the U.S. Drinks Conference…clearly there’s a need there, and I believe it’s much larger on the wine side than we initially thought.

I did a brief interview with Charlotte Hey,Managing Editor and Publisher of The Drinks Business' DBTV, so check out for that clip next week.

I eschewed more formal dinner options in favor of taking in a production of the Midsummer Night’s Dream at the New Globe Theatre…a recreation of Shakespeare’s original theatre in Southwark…theater in the round, groundlings and all that. It was a magical experience. Sphere: Related Content


The Pisco producers of Peru had a very large and active booth and spokesman Johnny Schuler gave a fascinating lecture on the history and heritage of the spirit. Everyone had high praise for Diego Loret de Mola’s activities promoting the category and his BarSol brand in the U.S. Sphere: Related Content

London International Wine Fair and Distil

(l to r: Cyril Necker, Steve Raye, Eugen Schwartz)
This was my first experience at the LIWF, and also the first time they’ve separated the spirits booths from the wine show into a separate hall. Overall, I’d give it a positive review. While traffic is significantly less on the Distil side, the consensus among exhibitors I spoke to was that the quality and focus of the attendees is pretty high. So, less traffic, but more valuable leads.

I’ve seen a number of clients and friends including Cyril Necker of byNecker---Girl liqueur; Eugen Schwarz from Oval Vodka; Dale Sklar of Wine and Spirit International. with Hapsburg Absinthe and the European HQ of MHW and the U.S. Drinks Conference in London; George Rowley of La Fee Absinthe; Emmanuel Solinsky, Nancy Little and Veronica Lamb of Walders Liqueur fame, Marc Charles of DBI and James Steiner of Cutty Sark. I also met with David Rose of The Drinks Business and Chris Boaz of Just-Drinks, both of whom are sponsoring the U.S. Drinks Conference. And surprisingly had literall run into Dave DeBoer on the street at Canary Wharf on Monday. Dave and I worked together at Heublein, and had a chance to catch up. He left Conn. for the vineyards of California, and has been heading up international sales at Delicato Vineyards since. Sphere: Related Content

Breakfast in Britain

What is it about food in the UK? Overcooked beef,watery eggs, (and oh by the way, the portions are so small!) And yet, they make spectacular beer. Go figure. Sphere: Related Content

Monday, May 19, 2008

Greek Wine and why Long Tail Isn't Yellow

In conjunction with our client All About Greek Wines, I had a great meeting with a group of Greek wineries and importers in New York Friday. The primary focus of the presentation was the development of an ecommerce concept and system. It was great to see everyone's eyes light up when they "get" the concept of virtual inventory through the Beverage Network database and the 50+ retailers for whom they provide the e-commerce functionality. If you’re interested in more detail, check out the excellent article (and headline) Ian Griffith wrote: The Long Tail isn't Yellow. Sphere: Related Content

Thursday, May 8, 2008


(l. to r. Pablo Miguel Musi, Jeff, Eucario Gonzalez, me and Joaquin Segura. Pedro Quintanilla not shown because he took the picture!)
We had a great meeting with the folks at Senor Frog's in Cancun last week. And though the sun was shining and the Caribbean was an achingly aquamarine blue, we engaged in a marathon indoor, no window, 12-hour session that can be summed up by the headline "GYST" (paraphrased for publication as Get Your Stuff Together). Suffice to say though, the extension of the restaurant chain brand name of Senor Frog's with a line of tequila makes eminent sense. A critical question we're wrestling with now is what is the right retail price for the brand. What do you think? We invite you to comment with your opinion...just click on the blue "comment" linke at the bottom of this post and answer three questions:
1. How old are you?
2. Are you aware of Senor Frog's restaurant?
3. Would you expect a Senor Frog's tequila (100% agave!) to be priced above, same as or below Cuervo Gold? Sphere: Related Content