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Guess Who’s Back!

A few moments from 2014

A few moments from 2014

It has been about a year and a half since my last post. Numerous things have changed in my life both personally and professionally but that’s a whole other post in itself. Today, on my return to the world of blogging, I’m sharing my love for an amazing wine. A wine first tasted in Chicago and sought after ever since.

In September 2014, my family and I accompanied my father on a business trip to Chicago. We enjoyed a lovely dinner with a customer at Riva Crabhouse on Navy Pier. With our meal, we sipped on a glass of the Caymus 2012 Napa Valley Cabernet 40th Anniversary. Since then, my mother and I have been on the hunt for this wine and hit the jackpot as we found it at Hyde Park Wine and Spirits. Let me preface this by saying this wine is rather pricey and well above how much I would normally pay for a bottle of wine. However, the holidays are a time for celebrating and spending time with loved ones so ‘tis the season!

Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon

2012 Napa Valley Cabernet in all its glory

What is Caymus? After a little bit of research, Caymus Vineyards is the Wagner family-owned winery dating back to the early 70s. The Wagners produced their first vintage in 1972 and since then have focused on producing quality Cabernet Sauvignon. As they focus on one type of wine, they produce two different types of Cabernet Sauvignon — Napa Valley and Special Selection. The 2012 Napa Valley Cabernet 40th Anniversary captured my heart and palate in Chicago and once again on Christmas Day.

As a red wine lover, I’m all about the full body taste with a little bit of dryness.  This wine is all that wrapped in one. My first taste in Chicago caught me off guard because I was not expecting such a well-rounded feel. I was hooked and needed more hence the purchase of a bottle for Christmas 2014. My initial reaction back in September held true this holiday season. The 2012 Napa Valley Cabernet 40th Anniversary is still a great wine! Since surf n turf was on the menu for our holiday meal (prime rib, lobster, creamed spinach, and roasted veggies) I knew we needed a wine with a good flavor but wouldn’t overpower the meal at hand. This was a perfect pairing — the red meat of prime rib with the smoothness of this specific cabernet sauvignon.

For those who are hesitant or opposed to the mere thought of drinking red wine, I suggest trying a pinot noir or a cabernet sauvignon. Neither are too dry or leave you with a tart, overpowering taste like people often say about red wine. My father has slowly started drinking red wine and he even appreciated all that the Caymus cabernet sauvignon offered.

Overall, this Christmas was one for the record books but was topped by reuniting with such a great wine. 2014 has been a crazy yet exciting year. I’m going to rely on my love for the 2012 Napa Valley Cabernet 40th Anniversary to blog on a consistent basis. If you have any questions please take advantage of the comment section below and lets talk wine!


Lights, Camera, Action! How Wine Companies Can Use Creative Video to Communicate with YoungPros

In my first PR related post, I discussed the importance of wine companies using social media to interact and communicate with YoungPros. As the growing wine drinking group, we want to be in the know of the latest news and information about a popular social activity.

In order to effectively use social media, all companies, wine included, must create worthwhile content. Content is king in that it drives people to your website, gets them talking about your brand, and lets them know hey! Our company is here ready to provide an amazing product or service. I say all of this to say video is a top way to present information about your brand in a fresh, creative way.

So why video?

  1. 45.4% of internet users view at least one video online over the course of a month (videobrewery.com)
  2. Video takes storytelling to the next level, bringing the information from a traditional press release to life (toprankblog.com)
  3. Of 80% of internet users who recall watching a video ad, 26% took some action after viewing the ad (videobrewery.com)
  4. The power of web videos for brands lies in the ability to show their “human” side to build loyalty and trust (iliyanastareva.com)
  5. This video tells why video is hot in PR

Basically presenting information in a 1-2 minute video clip can be more effective than a 250 word black and white press release.  Video is not all about spewing basic information. It can be fun, featuring different aspects of a company, fun facts, employee spotlight, or consumer feedback. The possibilities are endless.Screen Shot 2013-04-07 at 1.41.52 PM

As a YoungPro myself I enjoy watching videos created by my favorite companies. I even like the pleasant surprise of watching a video from a company I’m not familiar with at all, which says a lot. Wine companies have the unique opportunity to capitalize on the fun and social aspects of their product. Grape stomping comes to mind…video idea?

Here is a list of wine companies and wineries sharing creative video to promote their brand.

Robert Mondavi Winery Robert Mondavi is a well-known name in the wine industry. I often drink this wine as it provides great flavor yet inexpensive for a YoungPro like myself. The Robert Mondavi Winery website has a page dedicated to video. Each video offers a peek into the various aspects of the wine making process, including an introduction about the man himself, Robert Mondavi. The brand does an excellent job of humanizing the product with the introduction video but also lets consumers into the company with a behind the scenes look at growing to cellaring for your pleasure.

Cape ClassicCape Classic is a top importer of South African wine. With the desire to help the struggling South African boutique wine industry, Cape Classic strives to get the 18 South African estates and labels into various restaurants and stores in the United States. Their website has a designated video gallery. Cape Classic is an environmentally conscience company and incorporates sustainability efforts into their processes. They have a fun yet informational video that features their sustainability seal. This type of video is great for branding because visitors to the site will learn about the company and their commitment to the environment.

Yellowtail– This Australian wine company is known for it’s colorful stripped band and kangaroo on the bottle. Yellowtail takes a different approach with their video. Instead of the informational route, the company has one looping video featuring the latest commercials. On one hand this does not offer anything new because consumers can see the commercial on television. However, the looping video on the website does offer a chance to push the fun, colorful brand forward. The use of color and style of drawing helps set Yellowtail apart from others.

Benziger Family Winery– Based in the Sonoma Mountains, Benziger Family Winery prides itself on being a certified Biodynamic wine producing company. Their use of video is documentary style in which they give the history of the winery and the transition to becoming a Biodynamic winery. Although the video is 13 minutes long, it is an interesting concept. Visitors to the website will get an idea of the brand and their mission.

So this all means...

Screen Shot 2013-04-07 at 1.40.22 PMThere are various other wineries and companies who make use of video to communicate their message to website visitors. These four brands are great examples of the different ways to use video for public relations purposes. From social and environmental responsibility to media relations/pitches and press releases (both listed on 10 Reasons Why PR Professionals Should Be Using Social Video), wine companies and PR professionals should use video for content and to enhance social media use.


Taking Wine Drinking to Heart

My friends and family often ask why I enjoy drinking wine. I usually make a joke about it saying it’s good for my heart and keeps me healthy. Of course they look at me like I’m crazy but little do they know it’s true! Check out Visual Loop’s cool infographic

Visual Loop’s A Glass of Wine a Day

So what does this mean?

The Mayo Clinic presents information about the connection between wine and heart health. Certain substances in wine may actually help “prevent heart disease by increasing levels of ‘good’ cholesterol and protecting against artery damage.” According to doctors, resveratrol is the substance with heart-healthy benefits, helping prevent damage to blood vessels. CBS News released a story about Harvard research confirming resveratrol also provides anti-aging benefits. Resveratrol must be a unique substance with various health-related capabilities!

I’m in no way encouraging indulging in drinking alcoholic beverages; however, research pointing to the health benefits of drinking red wine is an eye opener. Eat This! shares similar findings in 10 Health Benefits of Red Wine. They do present two additional benefits: melatonin in red wine helps regulate the body clock for sleep and four glasses of wine a week help reduce men’s risk of prostate cancer by 50%. Did you know about these other reasons to love red wine?

I believe widespread information related to the health benefits of red wine consumption is necessary. YoungPros are the perfect audience to present such information. The wine drinking culture has changed. It’s more social and common to have a glass with dinner or just because. Wine in Moderation explains the evolution of the wine culture in Europe “changing from an important source of nutrition to complements to food and conviviality compatible with a healthy lifestyle.” The Europeans are definitely on to something with wine. Adopting such ideals will add to the overall appreciation of wine.

Approaching wine drinking in an informational yet culturally accepting way will encourage YoungPros to step outside their comfort zone and try something new. Remember, pop the cork and sip away!


How Wine Companies Can Use Social Media to Communicate with YoungPros

Findings Wine Market Council's 2011 Consumer Trend & Analysis report

Findings Wine Market Council’s 2011 Consumer Trend & Analysis report

Every now and then I have to take a step back from the busy world of graduate school. My schedule is usually filled with projects, papers, and research but it’s nice to let it all go and enjoy the various events offered in the area. As a PR graduate student, I tend to put on my PR hat no matter the situation. It’s no surprise I’ve worn my hat consistently since launching this blog.

Social media is a huge part of PR as companies are able to communicate key messages to their customers in a new way. Whether Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+ or any other social networking site companies must acknowledge the needs and wants of customers. Social media offers an easy way of listening to such desires. The needs and wants are best discovered by listening to the groundswell, “a social trend in which people use technologies to get the things they need from each other, rather than from traditional institutions like corporations.” (Li & Bernoff, 2011). Because of social media, customers are able to discuss their experiences with others which can ultimately influence the success or failure of a product. Customers are now more apt to listen to fellow users as opposed to the tradition of listening to the company itself.

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In the Bookstore…

While wasting time in between interviews for my thesis and Global Ad and PR class (check out my OTHER blog), I stopped in B.A.M. bookstore. I wasn’t looking for anything in particular but I came across a couple of cool wine related books…

Wine under $20? Perfect for the YoungPro

Find #1

Find #1

1,001 wines? I’m up for the challenge!

Find #2

Find #2

Not a fan of the cool iPhone Apps for Wine to keep track of your favorite wines? This little notebook is the next best thing.

Find #3

Find #3

Have you read or come across any fun wine related books or material? Feel free to share in the comments! 




YoungPro Presents: Cool iPhone Apps for Wine

wine app groupWhere would a young professional be without their handy smart phone? I, for one, have been sucked into Steve Jobs Apple world and my iPhone is glued to my hip (or should I say the palm of my hand? No one wears their phone on their hip anymore, right?)

It seems Jobs and the creative people at Apple are right because in the app store there is literally an app for everything. And here at the YoungProWineGuide we’re in luck. The wine industry is on board with the app craze and companies have created apps geared toward helping the wine enthusiast.

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Pair What with What? The YoungPro Food and Wine Pairing Cheat Sheet

Now that we have a glossary, list of wine varieties, and a recipe, let’s dive right into the food and wine pairings. First, what’s the point of pairing food with wine? The answer varies. Here at YoungProWineGuide the point of pairing food with wine is to expand palates and ideas about the topic. Simple right?  Instead of constantly choosing the same wine variety, why not take a step out of your comfort zone and try something new.post 3 picture

It’s nice to try and experience new things. Being a young professional myself, it’s exciting to choose a nice bottle of wine over a bottle of vodka as I would in my younger years. Now don’t get me wrong. I have no problem against drinking liquor; however, it’s refreshing to pour a glass of red or white wine at the end of the day.  Fellow wine blogger Grape Girl shares her experiences with food and wine pairings. Her quick wine pairing guide  is informative and understandable. I would say we agree on the idea of providing information to new wine drinkers without being overbearing.

In addition to wanting a more sophisticated range of adult beverages, I believe a basic knowledge of wine can help in professional situations. From networking events to break room chatter, being able to share what you know allows you to ‘toot your own horn.’ You never know who may invite you to an exclusive wine tasting or vineyard in the near future.

Now for the task at hand…

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