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Should I Have a Cellar? (Part 1)

2012 April 30

This is the first part of a two part article. I ended up with so much to write about on this topic, it seemed too much for just one article.


Does this sound familiar to you?

  1. It’s the weekend, let’s visit some tasting rooms.
  2. Mmm, I really like this wine.
  3. Let’s get a few bottles of it.
  4. I’m joining their wine club.
  5. Drive to the next place.
  6. Repeat 2 – 5.
  7. Next free weekend, repeat 1 – 6.

Do this a few times and most wine lovers eventually become wine collectors. It’s inevitable that when you find something you really like, you’ll buy more than just one or two bottles so you can enjoy them later. If you’re like me, you don’t plan on collecting wine; it just happens. Eventually, you’ll have enough wine to fill a small room and, with summer approaching and temperatures rising, you’ll begin to worry about storing that collection properly. After all, you have a lot invested in those liquid assets. During my time working with a wine accessories company, I heard a lot of questions from customers about wine storage and thought it might be helpful to post some of the most common questions and answers here in a FAQ. read more…

Duh: Natural Corks Greener than Synthetics

2012 April 27

Various types of wine closures

I’ve never been a big fan of synthetic corks. Even after just a couple of years, they seem to be more difficult to remove than natural corks and they’re just one step away from screw-top closures in my book. I never believed that the potential faults of synthetic closures—oxidation in synthetic corks and reduction in screw caps and glass stoppers—where significantly less than TCA faults with natural cork. Those were reasons enough against synthetic closures. Now I have even more reason to dislike them.

A new Italian study conducted by the Milan Politecnico and funded by Labrenta, an Italian producer of beverage closures, has found that natural corks have less of an environmental impact than their synthetic counterparts. Using data from 2010, the study conducted in November 2011 has made it possible to estimate the amount of CO2 emissions generated by the production of synthetic closures versus natural cork closures. By comparing the entire product life cycle of both types of closures—from obtaining raw materials to its eventual disposal—researchers found that synthetic cork production produces more CO2 emissions than natural cork production. That doesn’t really surprise me. An older study made by PriceWaterhouseCoopers in 2008, comparing the full life cycle environmental impact of natural cork, aluminum screw tops, and plastic corks, also shows that natural corks have significantly less overall negative effects. read more…

Are millennials really your target market?

2012 April 24

The economy is making a slow recovery. How do I know? Well, it’s certainly not because I have clients lining up with work for me. I personally have seen few signs of growth and the number of lease signs I see in local strip malls would suggest otherwise.

But a recent poll by the NPD Group shows that sales of luxury items, such as motorhomes and rounds of golf, have started to rebound. Even spending on things as mundane as underwear, which, according to Alan Greenspan, is an indicator of consumer spending on staple items, has increased 6.6% in the past year. That could mean people are no longer penny-pinching. I guess if you didn’t have much disposable income and you had a choice between new underwear and paying the rent, the latter would prevail.

However, this little bit of good news hasn’t reached all age groups, especially the millennials—those 18 to 34 year olds that seem to be the target group for nearly every marketing campaign. Recovery hasn’t been as significant for this group. Unemployment figures for the past 5 years show that unemployment in 18 to 24 years olds has increased proportionately faster than other age groups, leaving only 54% with a job. And without a job, they have no money to spend on your products. That fact alone should give you pause. Is this the group that your marketing dollars should be targeting?

read more…