Tag Archives: wine

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A,B C’s of facebook pages

I’m constantly asked by people what gimmicks/tools/tricks do I use to get the conversation going on our facebook.com/womenwine page. The answer is none. This question always surprises me as I think that if nothing else, facebook has taught us that … Continue reading

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Was 2009 the Tipping Point for #Wine & #Social Media?

When we look over our shoulder at 2009, will we find that it was the defining year a for the wine industry using social media to promote, engage, find new customers and sell wine? Continue reading

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Women & Wine – Grape Expectations for Social Media from the Wine Industry

Social media strategy for wineries is new – and you need a game plan. Don’t ask your followers what they want. If they answer A Contest! you won’t be able to have them participate if they live in the largest state filled with wine consumers – California – regardless of where you make your wine. Continue reading

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Women & Wine – Is Your Social Media Strategy Like Throwing A Party Where No One Comes?

You wouldn’t throw a party without planning down to the last detail to make it successful so why are so many companies launching Social Media strategies without goals or plans at all? Continue reading

Women & Wine Shares Insight on State of Social Media in the Wine Biz

We are all very familiar with the fact that the wine that we drink is only part of the story. In each bottle, there a person and a place that’s in every glass. When we speak of those origins we use the word terroir to describe the soil or the context of where the wine is from. At its core is the assumption that the land from which the grapes are grown imparts a unique quality that is specific to that region (from Wikipedia).

Is there a word though that can sum up the passion – the heritage – the people as well as terroir does in describing the land. Probably not. And believe me, I’m welcoming suggestions (do I detect a contest coming?) to use to describe this ‘other side’ of wine. It’s the reason that winemakers do what they do every day and people buy and start wineries. And, as you know, each story is different.

Social media allows us to share our stories, our passions and our purpose with people via various web tools. We create a dialog with those who are interested in wine, food, traveling to wine country – and we can listen to what’s being said to find and engage new potential friends, followers or purchasers of the wine.

facebook recognized the potential for the wine industry to present their stories when they moved earlier this year to the creation of Pages – and even built in the parameters of legal drinking ages across the world to assure that users would be of the right age to participate as fans. As of June 23, 2009, a study shared that over 500 wineries had posted facebook fan pages – I’m thinking that of this date it’s more like 1000. And that 50% of the wineries are in CA.

That’s great but it’s only the beginning and I applaud those who are ‘in the game’. This is not a time for standing on the sidelines wondering if the water is warm enough to jump in.

But the story just starts here. Where are the outlets that you can reach people who are interested in your wine? When you Google the name of your winery or brand what do you see? The first listing should always be your homepage – not a price comparision or where to buy it via the web. You want the visitor to be able to connect to the story so that you build loyalty for your brand and when the consumer pours the wine into the glass they can share your story with the people they are sharing the wine with.

Unless you are a public relations genius, it’s unlikely that you’ll see stories about your winery in the top searches on Google – especially if they are in print magazines who delay the posting of these stories to the web. You probably won’t see the latest Press Release about your winery either if it’s more than 30 days old as Google’s algorithms don’t consider that original content. And yes, if those releases are picked up by other outlets  you’ll see them too – for a while. But this isn’t what the person who is interested in wine is seeking to read.

They want the inside scoop. They want to make a connection, feel like an ‘insider’. Even if they can’t visit your winery they want to know what’s going on and they want to hear it in your own words.

There’s approximately 100,000 people who belong to facebook fan pages that are related to wine. If each of these fans has 100 followers then you are in a position to influence a circle that’s 7 million strong and by 2010 70% of those 21 and older will be on facebook. WOW! That’s a big number.

But how you differentiate your wine and your winery – that’s a whole different story – because once the industry catches on it’s like having your wine on a shelf in a warehouse style store with miles of aisle and no one there to educate the consumer about your brand.

There are other options for telling your story too – sites that you can post on and places where you can add your wine. You’re just getting started.

If you’ve never had a chance to experience our website, I hope that you will check it out today at Women & Wine http://womenwine.com. It’s a universal platform where lovers of wine, food and travel – pros and novices can share their passion, entertain, educate and inspire others with their stories, photos, blog feeds and videos. You can even post your events – all for FREE. Our SEO capabilities will have your story at the top of Google within a few hours if it doesn’t look like an advertisement but rather is posted at original content.

We also create content, contests, promos and social media campaigns for wineries and other brands that want to speak to lovers of wine, food and travel. Some of our A-list clients are movie studios, hotel groups, spirits companies and more. We create experiential offline events too to make a connection to the consumer.  We’ve been in 31 cities since in the past couple of years and had events for over 7,000 people. And we don’t have to ‘fish’ for a passionate audience – we’ve built ours through storytelling since we launched the company.

This is our 4th website at http://womenwine.com – we knew when we started that most consumers don’t want to share tasting notes or score a wine but would rather share a glass, a story and make a connection. It took us a long time to get it right (and this site is just a beta) but it’s working.

And if we can help you tell your story – then we’ve done what we set out to do. So raise your glass to your hard work and to meeting these new challenges and to each victory on your path to increase your wine sales, fans, visitors to your tasting rooms. And if we can be of help, just let us know.

You can reach me at julie@womenwine.com

Become a fan of Women & Wine on facebook.com/womenwine – follow me on twitter @womenwine.

Women & Wine Inc. offers consulting services, content creation and social media strategy and is the owner of Wine Valet at Two Rodeo Drive a hip wine boutique in Beverly Hills, CA.  Julie Brosterman hosts a top rated wine podcast on i-tunes which also can be heard at http://womenandwineradio.com with over 100 hours in archives. She writes for other sites as well as appears as a speaker on panels on the subjects of Finding Your Voice on the Web and Social Media as a Marketing Tool. Phone is 310-880-2442.

Remembering Silver Palate Founder Sheila Lukins

I was traveling this past Monday so missed the news of the passing of Sheila Lukins on August 30, 2009 at age 66 of brain cancer. My husband Marc said,”you should write something about Sheila since the Silver Palate was such a part of our lives together in the late 70′s and early 80′s in New York.”

I looked at him intently and thought how right he was. We ‘grew up’ with Sheila and her partner Julee’s The Silver Palate when we moved in together in Manhattan in 1980.

I hadn’t had time earlier in the week to take the time to write this blog and was really surprised this morning when I googled Lukins to see that not very much had been written on this woman who influenced the way we cooked and whose cookbooks sold over 7 million copies. Time magazine has a few paragraphs about her but there’s too much to this story to be reduced to so few words.

Marc reminds me of the Silver Palate store on 73rd and Columbus – our first stomping grounds since my first job our of college was at Lincoln Center and of how, when you saw their products anywhere it was a signal of good taste and good eats to come. We take for granted now that their bottled dressings, marinades and other offerings on the supermarket shelves but what we forget is that they were pioneers in the world of bringing gourmet staples to the masses.

I pulled my copy of “Basics” off the shelf as I’m writing this – it’s stuffed with stained bookmarks and opens automatically to Pasta Primavera on page 136 and page 510 Veal and Mushroom stew. The index is falling out and there are dishes in there that I know we loved like the Market Street Meat Loaf served at the Venice, CA restaurant of the same name that was in our old ‘hood in our early years in CA. Their notes that Vogue magazine termed it “the ultimate meat loaf” made me laugh as it was so true.

I panic for a minute when I can’t find The Silver Palate Cookbook on my shelves but there it is and it too is marked on the page for Carrot and Orange Soup. I think we ate this as a first course not only at our house but at every friend’s who loved to entertain at home.

It surprised me to learn that Lukins had replaced Julia Child at Parade magazine as the food editor and contributor in 1986 and that she suffered a cerebral hemorrhage in 1991 that almost killed her and paralyzed her left side.

The store in NYC was sold in 1988 and closed by the new owners in 1993 and while the partners split in a widely publicized breakup in the 90′s they reunited in 2007 for a 25th anniversary edition of The New Basics Cookbook.

Lutkins learned in June of this year that she had brain cancer and was with her family when she died last weekend at age 66.

I didn’t get a chance to speak with Katie Workman this week – now the editor of The Hungry Beast – whose Workman publishing was responsible for bringing these books into my life and the lives of so many other wanna be cooks – men and women who relied on them for their home entertaining tips. I’d forgotten too how the illustrations in the book set them apart from any cookbook I’ve seen and that we assembled the dishes to look like theirs so easily from them.

I’m wondering if Katie and I were ever in the little shop on 73rd at the same time and remembering how excited we got walking through the door feeling guilty for our splurge on the raspberry vinaigrette dressing or some other treat.

Others in NY took the trends that Lukins and Rosso started and incorporated them into their own operations but they were really the first and a gift of their products was a sign of impeccable taste then – and still is now. I think I’ll pick up a bottle of their dressing today as a tribute to Sheila and toast to her life which served to enrich ours.

To read the NYTimes obituary http://bit.ly/2yX37

Will Michelle Obama Do For Wine What She Did For Fashion?

This is the blog for Women & Wine http://womenwine.comwritten by Julie Brosterman.

It didn’t take us very long to notice Michelle Obama’s style on the campaign trail and I’m not talking about arms. I’m a bit under 6 ft. myself and first it was the poise, the grace of motion and that drop dead gorgeous smile that won me over. Later, it was the fact that she made everything she wore look like she just pulled it out of the closet – which gave me a more confidence to rummage around in the back of mine. Confidence. That’s a big word for most women to swallow – whether it’s fashion – or wine.

I started Women & Wine http://womenwine.com because wine for women is a universal language that we understand - it helps us make an immediate connection when we share a glass.  Yet, many women are caught up in their inability to find the right words to describe what they like. And unlike their daily pick of what to wear – they wouldn’t be caught dead in the same outfit two days in a row – they gravitate very quickly to purchasing a bottle of wine that they have had before. Over and over again.  It’s really because there’s a disconnect and lack of education at the point of sale but instead most women say they don’t feel confident enough to roll the dice on their choice so they go with the ‘safe’ one instead.

And while women buy most of the wine in the U.S. and, where available,  in the supermarket - that’s  like saying that they bought a new outfit at Home Depot, or a new purse at Blockbuster. Many tell me that feel like they have two heads when they enter a wine retailer (thanks guys for making us feel so comfortable and welcome) – and so the anonimity of their purchase is what they settle for in a big box store.

Women wouldn’t settle for anything else the way they settle for wines with cute pictures on the label or marketing gimmicks that appeal to women. They certainly wouldn’t choose a hair dresser that had cute kangaroos in the window. And it’s hardly likely that they would go to a butcher and ask for the cheapest cut of meat. They wouldn’t bend down to pick up a penny in the aisle but they have no trouble swatting down to reach for that bottle on the lowest shelf that’s $3.99.

Women who are interested in wine need a role model. I try to be one myself.

Now Michelle, I need your help.

Will you talk to us about the wine you like  – will you come on Women & Wine Radio to talk about how you started getting interested in wine (we know you love good food!)? Will you be seen holding a glass of wine in a picture – or pouring it at the table for a family dinner at the White House? Are you and the President planning an outing to Virginia wine country (it is for lovers…)?

As CEO & Founder of Women & Wine, I want Michelle Obama to invite women to be more curious about the wine they drink. To know that they can relish an inexpensive “find” – like she does at J.Crew. But to also realize like when you wear something hand crafted – or drink a bottle of wine that’s made with enormous care in small production – you can feel like cinderella – or a First Lady.

And I invite women everywhere – not just here in the U.S. –  to post and share their stories at http://womenwine.com of how they started on their own personal journey of learning about wine, drinking different varietals or buying a special bottle to start collecting. The socialization of wine at the American dinner table depends on you ladies. You did it with arugula, you can certainly do it with wine. You family will become more engaged and eat more slowly when wine is served. And you will want to travel to see where it’s made.

And Oprah, I’m ready for you. Why don’t you have me and Michelle on to talk about what we love about wine – the stories that are in the glass – the special memories we have of the meals where it was served. The places we’ve been where that perfect moment was enhanced by a great bottle of wine…

Ladies, are you listening? And as a wine retailer too, my doors are open to you.

Women & Wine owns and operates Wine Valet at Two Rodeo Drive http://wine-valet.com 310.274.9224.

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