The American Wine Celebrity
Of late I’ve been working with another wine PR specialist to help a client bring to market a really interestng wine info product. In the course of brainstorming with them yesterday we came to a very interesting conclusion about wine that at first set me back:
There is no recognized American Wine Celebrity.
No Bob Villa of Wine. No Martha Stewart of Wine. No Emeril Lagasse of Wine.
Could there be an American Wine Celebrity that is both authoritative, entertaining and likable; someone who, despite wine’s unfortunate elitist reputation, could use the power of their personality and the power of the media to make wine engaging?
The main obstacle to the emergence of an American Wine Celebrity is that not nearly enough people drink wine or make wine a part of their lives such as they do home improvement, homemaking, or cooking. And again, you’ve got the reputation of wine and wine lovers to overcome.
The closest thing we have to this type of person is Andrea Immer-Robinson. The woman is engaging and smart and knowledgeable. But, she’s sequestered over there on the Fine Living Channel, a very small outpost from which to develop the kind of following necessary to break out of minor celebrity status.
So what would an American Wine Celebrity look like?
-I think they would have to be incredibly knowledgeable about wine, but not shove that knowledge on people except when called to. This kind of knowledge would be expected, but it is also off-putting all on its own.
-I think they would need to be engaging in an Emeril Lagasse kind of way. You know, the guy you want to have over at your backyard summer party because they are just plain fun
-I think they need to be excitable when it comes to wine, but not psycho excitable.
Of course the new American Wine Authority needs a media outlet and friends in high places, but this is secondary to their personality and approach to wine. If they are a compelling personality, no matter where they start they will be successful and greater things will follow (if of course they are "handled" appropriately). Perhaps their own show on a minor channel turns into guest appearances on Good Morning America, which turns into a guest appearance on The Apprentice, which leads to a book, which leads to more talk shows, which leads to a bigger show of their own on a more prominent channel, which leads to inclusion in the gossip rags and websites, which leads to their own wine, etc. etc.
I’m not suggesting that America needs a "Wine Celebrity" that can put a fresh, entertaining, attractive face on the juice. Rather, I think it’s interesting to note that the position is open.