Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Is It Too Soon to Rant Again?

I asked Stefania that via email at lunch today. She said just "as long as you alternate the rants and don't bash the industry too much".

I had this posting in mind:

It explained why we won't do public tasting events any more. Since that posting we've been invited to about a dozen public events. I think it's time to modify our policy some. We will only do public events that do not charge the winery to attend. Of course that's like saying we'll only give away free wine to people named Salma Hayek who stop by our house. We're pretty sure Selma is not dieing to stop by, and a public wine event that doesn't charge the wineries is about as rare as having a Hollywood starlet come by for a visit.

I was thinking about that reading the Rolling Stone last night. Which by the way the Rolling Stone has the very best political and foreign affairs writing in the country today. Even if you don't like the political views, no other publication comes close to the depth and impact of the reporting going on at the Stone. Anyway, back to the main rant, there was a column on all the summer rock festivals.

It got me thinking. Do they charge the rock bands to play at those events? Do the promoters tell the bands: "We've got a huge audience of your target market lined up to come, just give us $10000 and we'll charge them $50 each and let you play for them"?

The wine is the attraction at a wine tasting isn't it? If you had a wine tasting with no wine, would anyone attend? It just seems we've been doing it backwards in the wine industry for a long time.


Florida Keys Girl said...

I love the Paul rants... Keep 'em coming. There's bound to be something else to annoy you soon! :)

Anonymous said...

I agree. When we host events at the restaurant we are partners in, Almaden Sonoma Chicken Coop in Almaden Valley, we don't charge the wineries. That doesn't even make sense in fund raising for nonprofits--afterall, they are donating the wine they are letting the customers taste! Our guest wineries have done well in sales at the events, the nonprofits make some money; the restaurant thrives in business and exposure and we get to try new wines for consideration on our wine list! It was nice meeting Stefania at the Sabor del Valle event tonight. Anna

Dave said...

I've wondered about this too.
Sure, the event organisers have to pay for the facility, staffing, promotion and all the other stuff that goes with it, but they ought to be able to more than cover their expenses with ticket sales and advertising.

Paul Romero said...

I really liked the format last night at Sabor del Valle. It felt like a community block party. A great mix of art, food, wine and music. It's an event we'd be honored to do again.

That's going to be the key for us I think. If the event supports something we believe in and the promoters have created a fun format, we're much more interested in attending.

Stefania said...

The generic problem with Trade and Awards events is that as the winery you do pay for the table but the attendees are rarely the buyer. So for example, what we've found is that the restaurant comps the wait staff with tix as a bonus, "here, go party, free booze, take the afternoon off". At a trade tasting where we are trying to meet and greet and promote our wine to a retailer or restaurant, having the wait staff get drunk on our behalf just sucks.

For the awards show, same thing...generally speaking, from our experience, the people attending are there to socialize and get as much bang for their buck as possible. Entry fee $50, 150 wineries plus food tables, "I'm going to eat and drink my $50 bucks worth and have a good time" is the mentality we've witnessed. Neither scenario sells wine for us. I'm all for a good party, but if I'm going to give away food and wine, it'll be to my friends and customers and people I enjoy.

Last night we donated our time and our wine to Sabor del Valle and loved it. I met some of the neatest people in my community and Paul and I supported a great cause. Good for us, good for the community.

If I gain a customer or two out of the deal all the better, but that wasn't the motivation for attending.

Thank you to Anna, Esau, and Ray, we would be happy to contribute again to your cause and hope to see you next year for another great event!