Monday, July 20, 2009

A fun wine quiz from The Atlanta Wine School

I would love to know which ones I got right and which ones I flat-out got lucky and guessed correctly. Good luck and have fun!

Click HERE for the quiz

Friday, July 17, 2009

"Girlie Wines", Marketing and Current Trends

It's funny--I am a wine lover and also a male. I don't feel particularly worried about my manhood when I have wine vs. a cocktail or beer--no one has revoked my 'man card' yet due to my ordering habits. With that being said, sometimes I don't want a wine based on the cuisine or location. For example, I normally order a beer or margarita with Mexican food (though red Zin goes well with spicy food; so would Gerwurztraminer if you prefer whites). Likewise, for me, wings = beer. However, whenever I walk through a steakhouse and I see people drinking beer with a juicy steak I can't fathom not having a 'big' red wine, manly or not--but hey, that's my opinion (and I drink red wine with fish too, so there!).
I love beer ads but they definitely stereotype wine drinkers as less than manly (such as this Bud Light commercial). I love the humor, but the effect is not lost on marketers as they are trying to make wine more appealing to men, as noted in this article. I guess it's like putting silly animals on wine labels--I don't buy wine because of a catchy label. I buy it because of what's inside--so should you! On the other hand, if you choose to buy wine for any reason, who am I to say no? I am a fan of vino and hope more people try wine & keep us as the #1 wine consumer market in the world!
The slow economy has prompted a major change in consumer spending habits. Luxury companies are in trouble (slower sales at Neiman Marcus, Saks) while discounters are raking it in (TJ Maxx, WalMart). This trend is also evident in the high sales of value wines vs. high dollar examples. We are lucky as there are so many great wines out there--many under $10! Click on this link for Whole Foods' current top 10 picks. To find prices I looked to Total Wines & More. The Escudo Rojo referenced is $11.99, the Koonunga Hills is $7.79. Search their catalog for yourself! While I haven't tried the Presto Prosecco, I highly recommend this lightly sweet/fruity sparkling wine as a great aperetif wine--especially for hot Summer days! Cheers!

Box Wines in the news

Believe it or not, I am seeing a lot of press about box wines of late. Yesterday's AJC had an article that referenced a fun one that I have previously written about-- Cline's Red Truck 'mini-barrel'. Here's yet another one that references a high-dollar french restaurant in NYC that actually sells box wines as well! In defense of Chef Daniel Boulud, the wines referenced sound like a 'cut above' as the 3L mentioned costs $40 (vs. $20 for the Cline, at no less than Sam's Club). I do like the fact that it's all about the juice INSIDE the packaging (kind of like my comments about not buying wine based on the label alone).

By the way, if you're in NYC, go to Boulud's other restaurant Cafe Boulud and enjoy Gavin Kaysen's wonderful creations! We ate there in April and were very impressed! Our 9-year old even enjoyed the tasting menu--just don't tell her she ate braised veal cheeks!!!