We at Parker Sanpei can’t believe it’s been four years this week since The Dish went live. Four years! In those four years, we’ve covered everything from the history of Father’s Day and mustards of the world to emergency preparedness and the best music festivals in the west. We’ve also shared personal tastes and memories on everything from our least favorite food trends to how we dropped it all to pursue a love of wine. And speaking of wine, we’ve talked lots, and lots, and lots about wine.
We’ve also met thousands upon thousands of you through a shared passion for food, wine, travel, and hospitality. Thanks for making these four years so delectable!
To celebrate the occasion, we’ll be re-running a few of our most popular posts to date. Enjoy! And happy holidays!
We taste a lot of wine at Parker Sanpei, and as much as we’d like to say they’re all perfect, the truth is that the occasional dud makes its way into our glass. (That’s the bad news. The good news is, living on the Central Coast, it’s very, very hard to trip over bad wine.) Looking back over old files, we recently came across some amazing tasting notes we wrote about some less-than wines. A few of the doozies:
- “Smells like a service elevator in San Juan, Puerto Rico”
- “Notes of 125th Street, Harlem during the second week of a strike”
- “Tastes like I just walked up to the attic and licked a box”
- “Like being punched in the face with a garlic sausage”
- “Metallic overtones with an asphalt finish”
- “Like liquefied charcoal cascading down my throat”
Of course, then we started thinking about disgusting terms we use for actually very good wines. Descriptors like barnyard, brambles, tar, petrol, forest floor and graphite are not things we generally enjoy eating…but they’re notes in some of our very favorite wines.
Who says wine is confusing?
We at Parker Sanpei are an adventurous bunch, but sometimes, the latest culinary trend just doesn’t fly with us. Here are some of our staff’s no-go foods.
Linda: CHICKEN WINGS
“All that fatty chicken skin, yuck.”
“With so many other good greens out there – spinach, arugula – why bother with kale? I think kale is a lie.“
“The balls. They creep me out.”
“Tell me again how I must not have had ‘good’ sushi and I will straight-up hurt you.”
“I’ve used it before in recipes…and then I’ve thrown those dishes in the trash. I just don’t like it.”
We had intended to give frequent updates on what we learned at the Wine Bloggers’ Conference this year, but that proved nearly impossible, so copious the information and quick the format. Here, we’ll present our take-aways by category. Today, it’s about the so-called “digital divide” between wine producers and their patrons in the digital age.
A breakout session entitled “The Business of Wine” led by Tim Hanni, MW, and Paul Mabray of Vintank reminded us how critical it is to provide digital media to our winery clients with ambitious, personal, and creative connections to their customers. Some notes:
Tim Hanni, MW
Notes from Tim Hanni, MW
- “Sixty to eighty percent of consumers are mystified by wine. We have to ask ourselves: are we going out of our way to mystify consumers about wine?”
- “Anybody can make very expensive, highly-extracted, new-French-oak wine. It’s never been easier for people to make good wine. But nobody’s putting any thought into the market itself. We’re devoting too much thought to the product, not enough to the consumer.”
Tim Hanni, MW is an internationally-recognized wine expert and professionally-trained chef. He is one of two Americans to first earn the title Master of Wine and is recognized around the globe for his groundbreaking “Vinotyping” – making wine drinkers more confident about their personal wine preferences.
Notes from Paul Mabray, Vintank
- “[The modern wine market] is the most competitive market in human history. [In 2013] there were 200,000 wine products in the U.S. But it’s also hard because everybody makes great wine.”
- “Everyone is telling the same story: Family-owned. Artisan. Terroir. Service is the only differentiator.”
- The wine industry’s biggest challenge right now is the internet. “Digital Darwinism” means if you’re not designing your website/blog mobile-friendly, you’re already getting left behind.
- “The old critic everyone listened to was Robert Parker, Jr. The new critic everyone listens to is the stupid ‘like’ button.”
- “It’s like Hollywood: everyone wants to work in wine. And it sounds so sexy until you have to put it in your gas tank. The wine industry pays [poorly], and we’re losing our best people because of it.”
Paul Mabray is Chief Strategy Officer at Vintank, the world’s largest software solution for social media management for the wine and restaurant industry. A more in-depth exploration of Paul’s ideas can be found in a transcribed lecture he recently presented here.
Only for the love of wine would we ever get up this early on a Saturday morning. No, not to drink wine – to blog about it!
Paul Mabray of Vintank discussing the intersection of wine and tech.
We are privileged to participate in this year’s Wine Bloggers’ Conference in the Santa Ynez Valley. We’ve already shaken Paul Mabray’s hand and talked about the digital divide in the wine industry. Heaven! Stay tuned here for more updates on the conference and what we’ve learned.
It’s not often that we at Parker Sanpei pat ourselves on the back, but recently, the love for what we’re doing in the lifestyle public relations industry is worth sharing.
Longtime journalist and wine writer, Barbara Keck, put some wind in our sails discussing work we’ve done for Arroyo Grande AVA producer, Laetitia Vineyard & Winery. On her blog, she published a post entitled, “Laetitia Wines are Not Only Good, but Well-Promoted.”
“Laetitia Vineyard and Winery shares their love for their Santa Barbara terroir and provides some excellent pairing notes and recipes. I am aware of this because every once in a while, I receive a press release that is so good that it’s worthwhile passing on in toto to my blog readers. This is the case with the information provided by Parker Sanpei and Associates about their client Laetitia wines.”
Another blogger, Xochitl Maiman of the blog I’ll Drink to That!, attended the CABs of Distinction event we put on for our friends at the Paso Robles CAB Collective, and had this to say:
“In such a short time, the PRCC (Paso Robles CAB Collective) and Parker Sanpei have created an influential and well-run series of events that will undoubtedly provide the PRCC with their optimal goal of effectively spreading the word about Paso Robles Cabs and Bordeaux varietals.”
And yet another blogger, Eve Bushman, who has served as judge at the Los Angeles International Wine Competition and writes the popular blog Eve’s Wine 101, had this to say about CABs of Distinction:
“[CABs of Distinction] was by far the best press event I’ve attended. Thank you for all of your care, Parker Sanpei.”
With kudos like this, we can’t complain. Thanks to all of our friends and fans for making our work and the wine/food/travel PR industry such a pleasure.
We at Parker Sanpei are scurrying to help put the finishing touches on the Paso Robles CAB Collective‘s CABs of Distinction event. (Actually, the CAB Camp portion for sommeliers is already well underway…) Suffice it to say, we’re a bit busy this week promoting some of the world’s finest Cabernet Sauvignon and Bordeaux varietal wines.
So let’s cut to the chase: You need to come to the CABs of Distinction Gala Tasting on Saturday. There will be 32 wineries pouring ace wines, and each (each!) will be paired with an international cheese or charcuterie selected by a local fromagier. That’s on top of the gourmet lunch included in each admission.
Get your tickets here. And be sure to say hello between sips!