How To Remember The Wines You Love!

It’s always hard when you are on the go and constantly let the city life, or just life in general, get the best of you and you forget to stop and remember what you enjoyed most about the day.  Was it the sight of that first flower blooming in central park, your sighting of SPRING! Or was it the wine that you just drank and darn it, you forgot the name and varietal already!  Well, we are all guilty of letting the busyness of life take over, I know I am, so I have put together a short list for those wine lovers out there who simply always forget the wines they love at dinner or wherever you happen to be!

  1.  Take a picture, it will last longer.  Yes we know the saying, but it’s true! It’s so easy to take out our phones (when appropriate) and take a picture and save it in our personal library.  Might as well make a conversation starter out of it, so warn people when you are about to do this so it doesn’t seem like you are being rude reaching for your phone!  Next thing you know, everyone at the table will be taking pictures of the wonderful label and even each other!
  2. SHARE… through a wine tasting!  We all know the most memorable moments are spent with friends and family laughing and sharing stories.  Host your own wine tasting and you will surely remember all the wines you enjoyed with your friends and family.  It’s easy to remember something when you tie it back to a story or a great convo you were having while enjoying
  3. Save the mini version!  Tastingroom.com is a great sampling program that allows you to taste sample sizes of an assortment of wines with the same quality as in the bottle!  Try a sample and since the bottle is so small, you can keep them around the house, put them in a ‘wine box’ filled with your favorites and you can have access to your favorite wine names whenever you are around!
  4. Save the corks! Easy peasey!
  5. APPS! Everyone is doing it!  Explore some mobile apps and download your favorites where you can collect a wine cellar virtually and have them accessible at all times.  Some great ones: WineHQ – http://www.winehq.org/;  Snooth Wine Pro – http://www.snooth.com/iphone-app/; HelloVino – http://www.hellovino.com/; Cor.kz – http://cor.kz/
  6. Savor what you drink.  Slow down and enjoy what you are drinking, savor it and talk about it with everyone.

Happy Drinking!

For a great article on the top 10 best wine applications visit Mashable -http://mashable.com/2010/11/15/apps-for-wine-enthusiasts/

And for all of you Beer lovers, have no fear, Mashable’s Top Ten Apps are here - http://mashable.com/2010/01/13/iphone-beer-apps/

Yellow Tail Really is the Go-To!

Sound familiar?

Looks like the Yellow Tail brand itself likes the idea of having their wine be the’ go-to” for their consumers just as much as I do….. Refer back to my post Yellow Tail: My Go-To 

From the NY Times..
August 29, 2011

A wine brand is playing up the qualities that helped make it so successful in a campaign that is intended to help get it back on the fast track in sales growth.

The brand is Yellow Tail, a line of wines imported from Australia by W. J. Deutsch & Sons. In just 10 years, Yellow Tail has become the best-selling imported wine in the United States and the No. 2 table wine over all, behind only the domestic Barefoot brand sold by E. & J. Gallo.

However, Yellow Tail’s growth in case sales has slowed notably. Case sales climbed from 225,000 in the brand’s first year, 2001, to 1.2 million in 2003, 6.5 million in 2005 and 8.2 million in 2008.

But sales rose only a bit in 2009, to 8.3 million, and remained at that level last year.

So the most recent campaign for Yellow Tail, which carries the theme “Open for anything,” is being replaced by a campaign with a new theme, “The go-to.”

That phrase is meant to convey that Yellow Tail is the go-to wine, the default option for anyone seeking an everyday wine, something to drink for most occasions.

The campaign reinforces the concept that Yellow Tail is a fun, unpretentious choice for consumers who do not consider themselves to be oenophiles and like to not think about vintages, terroir and pairings.

The campaign echoes the initial pitches for Yellow Tail, which gave the brand a lighthearted image by stressing attributes like drinkability and an affordable price. That approach was typified by a campaign with the theme “Tails, you win.”

The campaign proclaiming Yellow Tail as “The go-to” got under way last week with two television commercials. There will also be radio commercials, posters on the sides of trucks, signs in stores and online ads.

And, of course, the campaign has a presence in social media on sites like Facebook, where the brand’s fan page can be found at facebook.com/discoveryellowtail. Yellow Tail offered brand fans a preview of the two TV spots on the Facebook page.

There are more than 30,000 people who say they “like” Yellow Tail, with a goal of reaching 200,000 by the end of the year.

The budget for the campaign is being estimated at $9 million from now to the end of the current Deutsch fiscal year, which ends on March 31.

And there is “the potential of us spending more,” says Renato Reyes, chief marketing officer at Deutsch in White Plains.

That would be a significant increase from spending most recently, according to data from the Kantar Media unit of WPP.

Deutsch spent $5.1 million to advertise Yellow Tail in major media last year, Kantar Media reports, $2.8 million in 2009, $4.3 million in 2008 and almost $7 million in 2007.

The campaign is being created by the Burns Group in New York, an agency that has been working on Yellow Tail since July 2009.

One reason Yellow Tail’s growth has slowed is the increasing competition the brand has faced as it became more popular. Some rivals have been called “critter wines” because their names and brand identities echo the kangaroo motif of Yellow Tail.

Those critter wines include the Little Penguin, Little Roo, Mad Fish and Monkey Bay. There is even a Web site, critterwines.com, devoted to the phenomenon.

“There has been a ton of copycats,” Mr. Reyes acknowledges, contributing to the fact that “our growth has plateaued.”

Needless to say, he says he believes the competition has trouble matching his brand. Yellow Tail “tastes great and is fun, yet has an air of ‘premium-ness,’” he says. “Yellow Tail experienced a meteoric growth when it was a new brand,” and it “represented a gateway into the wine category” for millions of consumers who “wanted to somehow incorporate wine into their lifestyles.”

And Yellow Tail still has “the right to this broad territory, as a wine for everyday occasions, as a beacon of choice,” he adds.

In focus groups, Mr. Reyes recalled, customers described it using phrases like “safe choice,” “quality I can rely on” and “a brand I feel good about buying.”

(That brings to mind a line from the movie “The Best Years of Our Lives” when a sales clerk advising a woman on a fragrance purchase calls it “a good, safe bet” and “a perfume that fits any mood.”)

The idea was for the Burns Group to create a campaign that would reflect those consumer perceptions as it presents Yellow Tail as “fresh, contemporary, relevant, aspirational,” Mr. Reyes says.

Mike Burns, managing partner of the Burns Group, says that those who drink Yellow Tail “love wine,” but find it daunting that there are “over 5,000 product labels to choose from.”

The goal is to make the brand “the spine of their purchasing behavior,” Mr. Burns says, a brand that “should always be” in their refrigerators or on their shelves.

By declaring Yellow Tail to be “The go-to,” the brand is “trying to own ‘occasionality,’ ” he adds, the concept that it is “the wine that’s right for any moment.”

The campaign tries to convey that the brand “is absolutely the confident choice” for “people who are unpretentious and fun-loving,” Mr. Burns says, through the use of signature Yellow Tail elements like the kangaroo and the colors that appear on the bottle labels.

Mr. Reyes approves of the agency’s approach.

“This notion of occasions, it’s a business-building strategy, especially in a category that’s so fragmented,” he says

If each person who buys Yellow Tail bought it “one more time, that would represent 10 percent growth,” he adds.

The first two commercials in the campaign are fast-paced, meant to communicate energy and vibrancy. Each is composed of vignettes that show consumers enjoying themselves, and Yellow Tail, in situations like a backyard barbecue, a relaxed summer Friday, a house party, a card game, at the beach and on a date.

In both commercials, voices are heard saying “Never the wrong time for the right wine,” “I’ll have the Yellow Tail” and “I just love that kangaroo.” The spots end with a voice that says: “Yellow Tail. The go-to.”

The voices all have a reverberating, echo effect reminiscent of the voice saying “How do I look?” in the electro-music track “Une Very Stylish Fille” by the artist known as Dimitri From Paris.

The music heard in the Yellow Tail spots is from around the same period. It is called “Yachts (A Man Called Adam Mix).” The commercials were produced by the production company Logan, based in Los Angeles and New York.

The media agency for Yellow Tail, MPG in New York, part of the Havas Media unit of Havas, has developed plans for the campaign to reach 180 million adults, Mr. Burns says, compared with 100 million for the current campaign.

The commercials will run on broadcast networks and cable channels and are to appear more often in late-night time slots than previous Yellow Tail spots.

The late-night slots include programs on Comedy Central; “Conan,” with Conan O’Brien, on TBS; “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” on ABC; “The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson,” on CBS; “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon,” on NBC; and “Saturday Night Live,” also on NBC.

Among the other television venues for the campaign, Mr. Reyes lists A&E, BBC America, Bravo, Food Network, FX, E!, HGTV, IFC, Style, TLC and USA.

There will also be a presence for the campaign on Web sites like nbc.com and YouTube.

———-

Harbor Cruisin’, Harbor Tastin’!

As the weeks have been moving at the blink of an eye and the days are filled with mostly work and some play… I have yet to find the time to write this post or even pick out a good bottle of wine!  Well here is something that will kill two birds with one stone and will make your life a whole lot easier when trying to find that perfect (and impressive) Chardonnay or Rose for your dinner party and you just don’t have the time to walk through the libraries of wines in your liquor store!

It was Labor Day weekend and after a hard earned work week our hardest decision for the weekend was what to toast with to celebrate the end of the Summer and the welcoming of Fall!  Since it could be considered a transitional holiday from light whites to heavier reds as the weather gets colder, we tried something in the middle – ROSE!  So, what rose are we going to drink?  A good question that has a very strategic answer… Tastingroom.com to the rescue!

 

An on the boat tasting experience that led us to the most important decision of the weekend!  What did we go with?  The infamous 2010 Swanson Rosato paired nicely with a surf and turf of baked stuffed lobster and steak!  A great solution for saving money and time on what to drink! Simply go online follow directions, pick the sampler you want (which there are a number of different offerings), wait for it to be delivered, try it and buy it (with a savings)!  What a wonderful experience that made the wine picking process that much more fun!

Tell me how you choose your wines before you invest in something you haven’t tried?  I hope you have this much fun in doing so!

Wine Tip of the Day for a Happy Friday!

A great mnemonic device for remembering what wines are what from Esquire.com!

“For example, he’d point to the three major varieties of white wine — Riesling, Sauvignon blanc, and Chardonnay — and ask you to visualize them as skim milk, whole milk, and cream. Before you’d even tasted the wines, you had an idea of where they stood from light to heavy. Then he did the same for reds. Pinot noir: skim milk. Merlot: whole milk. Cabernet sauvignon: cream. With that information alone, you could go into a restaurant, order a thick sirloin, and know that it was wiser to muscle up to the steak with a hearty Cabernet than a willowy Riesling.”

To read more… http://www.esquire.com/blogs/food-for-men/windows-on-the-world-september-11

To Decant or Not..!?

To decant or not, that is a question most avid wine drinkers ponder when opening their favorite bottle. Decanting has been a part of historical practice within the wine culture dating back to the Venetians who brought to life the long skinny neck and wide bottom form to enhance wonderfully kept and produced wines! Although much of its appeal is within its stunning display, there is in fact a true rhyme and reason to its methodology!

Decanting, usually used to ‘open up’ red wines, is a process that creates a very authentic and romantic way of presenting and drinking wine.  Functionally, it allows the wine to aerate and removes the sediment from older red wines. Lucky for us, it’s an easy process that should be endured and valued versus viewed as a tedious practice.  To start the process, gently pour the wine keeping the same side down as it was ‘aging’, into the decanter to remove sediment.  To be more effective and precise some hold a candle along the neck of the bottle while pouring to clearly see the lingering sediment. As the wine splashes into the decanter, oxygen mixes into the wine, which creates the process of oxidation.  Let the delicious wine rest and wait a few minutes before pouring and enjoying!

So when should one decant? Here are 3 main reasons when decanting should take place:

  1. Sediment is what collects over time in an older vintage of wine.  When transferring your bottled wine to your glass decanter, you leave behind the sediment thus the decanter to glass to mouth result is clarified and filtered.
  2. Decant to let a young full-bodied wine ‘breathe’ so the wine’s magnificent aroma and taste can be enjoyed to its fullest.  When the wine oxidizes, its distinct scents are released and the tannins become a bit softer which amplifies the entire ‘tasting’ experience and process – swirl, smell, slurp, taste, YUM!
  3. When entertaining, what better way than to present your wine in an aesthetic manner through a beautiful glass decanter.  Your company will undoubtedly ‘ooh and ahh’ over what they are about to taste by its elegant presentation.
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