The Kind of Wine Event I Like

Today Wark Communications will help Saintsbury carry out the kind of even that I am most fond of: A tutored tasting of wines gong back 20 years conducted and hosted by the owners of Saintsbury and their winemaker.

I personally like these events because they appeal to the geek in me, they give me time to really consider the way wines age and the pace is always appropriate.

The attendees will be mainly wine writers and members of the wine trade on an invite only basis and it will occur in San Francisco.

As a participant, I’m partial to tutored tastings because I’m a wine geek. The opportunity to delve down really deep into specific wines or producers is what wine geeks live for. As a publicist, I’m partial to them because they not only give the client a chance to offer their perspective in depth but they are also challenged. In front of them sit numerous members of the wine media who are extraordinarily well informed, geeks themselves, and generally very attentive. They tend to ask questions the dig down deep into the producer’s intentions. This is a good thing. It gives the producer a chance to exchange ideas with a wiling audience that knows there stuff.

The problem with these events however is always the venue. While we will be doing this a one of the finest restaurants in San Francisco, it means a number of attendees need to drive a good distance. There is no way around this and it cuts down on the potential number of attendees.

What’s the job of the PR guy at such an event? Generally it’s stay out of the way, make sure your clients know what you know, make sure attendees have what they need or know how to get it, make sure the staff is on top of things, and keep the pace on track.

What’s the expectation for such an event from the client’s perspective? Simple, a chance to tell their story fully and in depth. That’s it. Public and media relations is a long haul effort, an ongoing effort where everything that comes before informs what comes after.

4 Responses

  1. Fredric Koeppel - September 26, 2006

    Why does being partial to tutored tastings mean that a person is a wine geek? The word “geek” implies a narrowly focused interest and intellect to the exclusion of other fields and a nerd-like devotion to detail, even extraneous detail, that goes beyond the ordinary. Why can’t a partiality to tutored tastings or any other sort of wine event simply mean that you are passionately interested in wine — or any other subject — and want to know as much about it as possible, out of a desire to be educated, out of a need for enjoyment and out of love. That’s not geeky; it combines the best aspects of the amateur and the professional.

  2. tom - September 26, 2006

    I don’t mean to suggest anything derogatory by the use of “wine geek”. It is, in my mind, a term of endearmanet offered to define those who, exactly as you suggest, “passionately interested in wine — or any other subject — and want to know as much about it as possible, out of a desire to be educated, out of a need for enjoyment and out of love.”
    Perhaps I need a different term for those folks willing to delve deep for the sake of thier avocation. Perhaps “wine lover” is best.

  3. Fredric Koeppel - September 27, 2006

    Sorry, I did sort of go off on that. There was a story in the Times a couple of weeks ago, not about wine per se, that began with the writer saying something like, ” … people who use wine geek terms like ‘body’ and ‘flavor’ …” and it pissed me off because wine does, of course, have body and flavor: why would using these obvious terms merit the slightly derogatory (in the context of this story) term “geek.” It’s like saying that someone who uses words like “horsepower” and “paint job” is a “car geek.” Anyway, that was on my mind when I read your (of course) harmless post.

  4. Sara Basra - October 9, 2006

    We appreciate your comment on scoring in The World of Fine Wine magazine. This kind of authoritative feedback is greatly valued.
    Also interesting to read your site content on Saintsbury. We published a substantial feature on him last year.
    Sara Basra
    Deputy Editor
    Fine Wine

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