Picking on publicists and $600 wine
Picking on publicists and $600 wine
In the world of wine marketing, there's something for everybody. Consider the two press releases I received this morning, within minutes of each other.
One came from Ashley Systma at People's Wine Market and the other from Anna Miller of 42 West. As one might infer from their respective names, each represents a decidedly different side of the economic spectrum.
Put "People's" in front of any noun (I'm thinking "People's Park" or "People's Revolution of (insert-country-name-here)," and we know implicitly there's no money it. Because the people are broke. If they weren't broke they'd have a better name, like "Ruling Class."
That's at least what came to mind when I read Systma's PR, which was headlined, "Artisan Wineries Sit on Stockpile of Recession-Era Vintages."
Throughout, Systma posits a David and Goliath relationship between the artisan wineries and their "corporate competition," which has been amplified by the slow economic recovery. Systma's new website promises to turn overstock into a "marketing asset and provide customers with deals" because "as a new vintage became available, older vintages were pushed aside."
Alas, a "wine glut," a term that, heretofore, I've only used to describe my abdominal woes.
The upshot, I suppose, is to raise a raise a glass of discounted wine and say, "Power to the people!" Just don't do it near Christie's at Rockefeller Center in New York next week, lest an auctioneer think you're bidding on a rare Inglenook wine from Francis Ford Coppola's private collection. Dubbed the "Rebirth of a Legend" by the fine folks at 42 West, I cannot help but think the wines on offer, particularly two bottles of the "legendary 1941 Inglenook," are little more than the spoils of a highfalutin' garage sale.
Perhaps this writer (and, by extension, his esteemed readership), aren't the target market for 70-year-old wines. Apparently Coppola isn't either since he's finally dumping them - they've been in his cellar since he purchased the former Inglenook estate back in 1975, when I was first developing my love of the bottle, albeit one full of milk.
So why now, Francis? The upcoming auction is codenamed "Renaissance," thought I think "Liquid Assets" would've been more apt. For that matter, why does a wine auction need a codename anyway? Especially a codename cited in a press release.
Good thing 42 West wasn't running intelligence in World War II, otherwise we'd all be speaking German.
"A truly unique offering is a bottle so rare that the estate would only part with one: the 1935 vintage from the 'Golden Era ...'"
Pray tell, what does a Golden Era bottle of wine run? About $600. Pricey for vinegar but much less than I expected given the breathless hyperbole of the press release. I mean, I've had phone bills bigger than that.
For $600 you can get round trip airfare to NYC, never get off the plane and still drink better wine, if you know what I'm saying. Of course, that little single-serve, screw-capped bottle won't come with a handwritten note from Coppola in a custom-made wooden box as promised by the press release, but you could probably get a flight attendant to sign your cocktail napkin with a little hustle.
Unless there's some TSA rule against it and they have to land the plane because you're brandishing a Sharpie.
Suffice it to say, if that happens to you, I'll personally buy you a bottle of Coppola's wine from PeoplesWineMarket.com and we'll cue up "Apocalypse Now" on Netflix and write our own wine press release with the headline, "This is the End, My Only Friend, the End."
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Daedalus Howell picks on publicists at DHowell.com.