Sunday, March 18, 2012

New York Drinks New York...continued!

I'm posting yet another set of commentary reprinted from Jim Trezise, President of the NYWGF. This program is exactly what New York wine needed. I hope the foundation will plan another one for next year. Big kudos to Jim Trezise!I've also included two posts from the New York Cork Report, just to show the impact this program had. Again, congrats to the whole NYWGF team! And to the wineries for particpating.

"This was by far the best New York wine tasting I have ever attended"...Way beyond my expectations"..."Gangbusters, awesome!"..."Too good to be true, this is unbelievable."

Those were typical comments during last Monday's Grand Tasting at Astor Center in lower Manhattan, with the comments coming from winery owners, the trade and media representatives. Expertly orchestrated by our colleagues at First Press Public Relations, the afternoon began with a private seminar on "Aromatic Whites" for 25 media and trade, followed by an afternoon-long tasting for the same audiences, and finally a consumer tasting--with huge crowds all day and evening. One winery owner said he and his winemaker were constantly pouring and didn't even have five minutes for a break the entire day.

The trade and media portion drew 217 sommeliers, wine store buyers, and wine writers, with 260 consumers making total attendance 477. As important as the quantity was the quality of attendees, like sommeliers Aldo Sohm (Le Bernadin), Paul Grieco (Terroir and Hearth), Dustin Wilson (Eleven Madison Park) and Andre Compeyre (Benoit). Top-level retailers included Valerie Corbin (Astor Wines), Ben Wood (67 Wines), and Jesse Salazar (Union Square Wines).

Influential members of the media were also out in force, including Josh Greene (Wine & Spirits), Lettie Teague (The Wall Street Journal), Dana Nigro (Wine Spectator), Howard Goldberg (The New York Times), Mary Mulligan, Anna Lee Iijima (Wine Enthusiast), Betsy Andrews (Saveur), Tyler Colman (, Talia Baiocchi (Eater/San Francisco), and Amy Zavatto (Imbibe, Edible), among many others.

Many of the retailers and restaurateurs were there not just to taste, but also to do business on the spot. One winery owner showed me a bunch of business cards of retailers who actually ordered wine--which very rarely happens at events like this. Meanwhile, outside were taxis with our "NYDrinksNY" ads on their roofs.

This overall program, from the market research to this final event, spanned three months of intense work and was made possible by a grant from the Genesee Valley Regional Market Authority. That money is now gone, and whether we're able to find more will determine if this great promotion will have been just a flash in the pan or the beginning of serious New York wine marketing in New York City.

Two from NYCR: