March 29, 2017

Back to Basics: Preventing Rotten Eggs (aka Reduction)

This article is sponsored by Scott Laboratories. For more information on product offerings, please contact Scott Labs at 800-821-7254 or visit Scott Laboratories. “This wine smells a bit like rotten eggs to me,” said grandma Margie. “Thanks grandma, I know I missed the boat on this wine” I replied. “Well, what are they teaching you at that school, I’d ask for my money back if I were you.” Got … [Read more...]

Surprising Michigan Sauvignon Blanc

What's surprising about Michigan Sauvignon Blanc? That so few Michigan wineries produce wines from this fascinating versatile and aromatic varietal is really quite surprising. The Wolverine State makes much more white wine than red wine but very little Sauvignon Blanc. Why?This ancient varietal is one of, if not the, most expressive grapes on earth. It's aroma's and flavors range from soft … [Read more...]

Wine Law by the Case: Advertising Rules

Like nearly every other facet of the alcohol beverage industry, advertising has historically been carefully regulated.  For instance, in Missouri, regulations pertaining to advertising address topics from font size to content, and those specifically relevant to wine address statements regarding age and bottling date.As technology continues to change and new forms of potential advertising media … [Read more...]

Top Tips For Winery Website Redesign

How do you know when it is time to re-design your website? More and more consumers are researching online before they visit and are judging your winery by its website. I often tell clients to think of their website as the center of a large spider web. All strands point to your website – Twitter, Facebook, brochures, rack cards, wine labels, Yelp, Google places listings and consumer reviews of your … [Read more...]

Between Two Bottles (B2B): Norton versus Diet Coke

Not everyone visiting a local winery wants to drink wine. Beverage drinkers divide into a number of categories. A large number choose beer or mixed drinks. Non-drinkers ask for soda or water.Among the soda and water drinkers there is an interesting sub-category: those against alcohol for religious reasons. For example, we’ve hosted a few weddings during the last couple of years where either … [Read more...]

Court of Master Somms Courts the Midwest

I have a confession to make.  When I started Midwest Wine Press, I thought a modest amount of wine knowledge would be enough.  After all, we’re mainly reporting wine news, not making it.But I soon learned that if you’re in the wine business, people expect you to know everything about wine.  So when the Court of Master Sommeliers contacted me about taking their Introductory Sommelier Course and … [Read more...]

B2B: Genuinely Local Wineries Deserve More Promotion

I had a dream. The year was 1965 in California. I was observing wine pioneer Robert Mondavi who had just been fired by his family’s winery (something that happened in our real world too). Desperate and jobless I watched him hold a meeting with a French grape broker (that didn’t happen in our world). The broker offered to cheaply ship thousands of gallons of French juice to California, to save … [Read more...]

Between Two Bottles (B2B): Wine Tastings – To Charge or Not to Charge?

One feature of Midwest wineries that sets them apart from wineries in California is that many offer free wine tastings. On the west coast, in Napa or Sonoma, you usually get charged at least $15 just to sample a few meager samples of vino. For understandable, but possibly misguided reasons, the tradition of a free wine tasting in our region could be changing.In my humble experience as a … [Read more...]

My Middle West

One of the best paragraphs in the Great Gatsby is about the Midwest:"That's my middle-west- not the wheat or the prairies or the lost Swede towns but the thrilling, returning trains of my youth and the street lamps and the sleigh bells in the frosty dark and the shadows of holly wreaths thrown by lighted windows in the snow.  I am part of that, a little solemn with the feel of those long … [Read more...]

A Timely Story About Me

People tell me that I need to talk more about myself in Midwest Wine Press.  So this is a reluctant column about me.The first thing you should know about me is that I think the amount of time news people spend talking about themselves is strange.   During the 80's, the Indiana University School of Journalism taught us that in order to write news, it's best to take the reporter out of the story … [Read more...]