Back at it!
Hi all! Happy New Year! Sorry for the long delay in writing, but production on our latest projects here in Zan Media, as well as an extremely hectic semester of MBA work, kept me away much too long. Won't happen again!

I was lucky enough to get a chance to guest blog for the Toilet Paper Entrepreneur site. Below I am posting the blog, as well as the link to it here:
It is a great site, be sure to check it out.

Also, I was lucky enough to visit the tasting room for Galante Vineyards in Carmel. I highly recommend the 2005 Pinot, yummy!



FROM TPE website:

Long thought of as stuffy and pretentious, in the past few years the wine industry has become extremely “cool,” due to the help of the millennial generation. We 21-30 year olds have helped increase sales and consumption of wine, both domestically and overseas. There are 100 million of us and we have $172 billion of buying power and we aren’t afraid to use it. And, we love our wine!
Having graduated from the Wine Business Program at Sonoma State University, located smack in the middle of California wine country, I have seen this “vino-fete” first hand. Wine Business classes were great– we would have discussions about the marketing of wine, various varietals, the impact of European wines on the U.S. market, etc. We took field trips to wineries and even had in-class wine tastings. (Someone had to do it!)
Most of my peers in this region, regardless of college major or career, are very “into” wine. Fraternities throw wine and cheese parties as an alternative to keggers, and we often go to wine tastings instead of local bars. Many of my friends work in the wine industry as well. Right now I have a friend who is a “cellar rat” (the winery term for a lab technician), one who works in a tasting room and another who is the wine buyer for a restaurant. I’ve worked in marketing for one winery and in special events for another.
I am currently the Associate Producer of my family’s film and video production company. Last year we produced a documentary on the California wine industry called “A State of Vine.” In it we interviewed the revered Fred Franzia, father of Two Buck Chuck, who told us that he gets letters all the time about the “Chuck Shaw” parties millennials throw, and talked about the increase in sales figures attributed to millennials. We love all sorts of wines, not just the “cheap” stuff - our average per bottle price point being $10-15. We are ga-ga for Australian shirazs, (known as syrah in the US), as well as wines from Chile, Argentina, and New Zealand. Thirty two percent of the wines we buy are imports. We are a well-traveled wine lot!
The point of all this? Millenials must be marketed to and not ignored! We are prime targets for advertising campaigns – we watch TV, text message, have Facebook and MySpace accounts. We are extremely social, and tell our peers about the newest products and services. We have power in our pocketbooks! When marketers are looking to advertise their company/goods/services, they need to think outside the box, think a bit more fun and vibrant-think about us. So think about a nice Pinot Grigio the next time you need some marketing inspiration-young and fresh. Cheers!

I completely agree!
Ah Pop Tarts! Not as good as wine, but pretty darn amazing! Lately my breakfasts have consisted of organic pop-tarts (not the brand, but will always be Pop Tarts to me!) and organic chocolate milk! Yum!

It is actually wine related too!
Another Great Green Wine Effort!
Have you ever wondered what happens to the 13 billion wine stoppers produced every year?
Santa Rosa JC Winery
How cool is this?!?!

"Santa Rosa Junior College will be the first community college in the state to have a fully bonded winery on site...."

Read on for the 411 on this wonderful accomplishment!

Wine's A-Ok

Drink up! :)
Don't you hate when this happens.........

Oh corkage!
Wine Spectator Sting
Wow, what a story, and to be honest, not at all too surprising. I had heard musings of this kind before, so it is very interesting to have it confirmed.
Movie Time
So, I don't know about everyone, but I am very excited to see 'Bottle Shock'. Has anyone seen it yet? Any thoughts or reviews? let us know! :)
Music and Wine, My Two Favs
So today, out of curiosity and not any political motivations, I was looking at Meghan McCain's blog. I found it to be really interesting, and my favorite part, as a fellow music addict, was her playlists and song of the day. So, stealing some inspiration from her, below is a list of some of the best "wine songs" out there. Listen, savor, and enjoy.

--(I haven't heard all the songs on the list, but here is a longer version...

*Champagne Supernova by Oasis
"Some day you will find me caught beneath the landslide
In a champagne supernova - A champagne supernova in the sky"

*Old Red Wine by The Who
"Old red wine, not worth a dime; we'll have to finish it after crossing the line."

*Red, Red Wine by UB40, lyrics and melody by Neil Diamond
"Red, red wine it make me feel so fine ..."

*Spill the Wine by War
"Spill the wine, and take that pearl ..."


--And songs with "wine" in the lyrics (complete list

*Big Shot by Billy Joel
"You had the Dom Perignon in your hand and the spoon up your nose"

*Hotel California by the Eagles
"Please bring me my wine, he said 'We haven't had that spirit here since 1969'" ... and "Pink Champagne on Ice .."

*Ironic by Alanis Morrisette
"it's a black fly in your chardonnay"

*Joy to the World by Three Dog Night
"Jeremiah was a bull frog.
Was a good friend of mine.
Never understood a single word he said,
but he always had some mighty fine wine."

*Killer Queen by Queen
"She keeps Moet et Chandon in a pretty cabinet"
(Moet et Chandon is a brand of Champagne)

*Lady Marmalade by Christina Aguilera etc.
"boy drank all that magnolia wine"
"we drink wine with diamonds in the glass"

*Livin' La Vida Loca by Ricky Martin
"She never drinks the water, makes you order French Champagne"

Wine Drinking is up!
A very interesting, and fairly optimistic, article about the increase in wine consumption. Yay for wine!
It's been awhile.......
Hi all!

Sorry for the tremendous delay, but I am back. :) Just a few quick tidbits and updates.

While in South Dakota two weeks ago, I visited their very own Prairie Berry winery.
They make their wines out of local berries and honey, and though mainly sweet, they are such a unique find!

Also, this weekend I am off to fabulous Las Vegas! I am going in search of the Wine Angels!

Talk to you soon!

"A State of Vine" Supports Cancer Research

The University of Rochester Medical Center yesterday, released research information concluding that the antioxidants in red wine not only enhance the effectiveness of radiation and chemotherapy treatment, but also appear to kill cancer cells.

The documentary film, “ A State of Vine” explores the health benefits of wine consumption in moderation in its entertaining look at the California wine industry. As one wine connoisseur noted about “ A State of Vine,” ...

“Just a quick note to say that I think "A State of Vine" is a beautifully crafted work. It is, perhaps, the best documentary I have seen about our world of wine.”

Jayme Silva
Robert Biale Vineyards/Hill Climber

Sorry it has been awhile....
Sorry I have not been making any post in a long while, but life has been hectic! Some good news on the ASOV front though: our fundraising efforts with KRCB/PBS went well, and a record number of overbids were made, and with every overbid came a copy of "A State of Vine"! Hope all of you who received a copy enjoyed it! Also, my mother and I will be on Women & Wine Radio in the coming weeks, discussing the production of our documentary! Keep your eyes out for it
Also, I have been having a horrible problem with comment "spam" from hackers out there, so please ignore their comments, and hopefully they will quit the comment graffiti soon!


Congrats to Sonoma Wine Company!
Sonoma Wine Co. returns to retail brands
Monday, September 17, 2007
GRATON ? Six years after getting out of creating wine brands for retailers and restaurateurs with the high-profile sale of the Blackstone brand, Derek Benham is back at it in a big way.

The proprietor of custom vintner Sonoma Wine Co. and its sister brand-maker Purple Wine Co. in the past three years has moved more than 30 such labels to market.

Out of 3 million cases of wine both companies aim to make next year, about 900,000 cases will be for company brands made by Purple Wine Co. ? Mark West, Avalon and Rock Rabbit ? and roughly 100,000 cases will be for "control brands" such as Shiloh Road, Foxtail and Graton Cellars, according to Lisa Giglio, director of brand management for Sonoma Wine Co. The rest of the production is for custom-winemaking clients.

The difference between the two groups of brands is who owns them and where they are sold. Purple Wine's brands fit the traditional model of a winery creating and producing its own brands then moving them to consumers through distributors.

Following a greater trend in retail globally toward higher profit margins as chains consolidate, more private wine labels are being produced. Somewhere from 1.5 percent to 5 percent of wines sold in the U.S. are private labels, and sales growth increased 30 percent last year, according to ACNielsen and Novato-based private-label developer WineryExchange. Private labels account for 16 percent of U.S. retail sales and roughly half of European retail sales.

Private labels encompass:

? House brands, which bear the name of the restaurant or store, often known as the "house wine"

? Merchant brands, which are developed for a retailer, such as Diablo Creek for Safeway and the Canvas brand Michael Mondavi's Folio Fine Wine Partners made for Hyatt

? Control brands, over which a store exercises varying degrees of say on design, content and distribution per contract. The key example is Bronco Wine Co.'s Charles Shaw for Trader Joe's.

"For us it's a great way to incubate ideas," Ms. Giglio said.

That's how Mr. Benham and his brother Courtney came up with the Blackstone merlot brand and worked out a control-label deal in California with the Cost Plus chain. The brothers sold the brand through distribution in other states, and buzz for the brand attracted the attention of New York-based Constellation Brands, which acquired the label and the Benhams' Codera Wine Group brand factory in 2001.

Three years ago, Derek Benham passed his control-brand-creation torch to Ms. Giglio to develop on a pay-as-you-go budget.

The Shiloh Road brand, sold in Concord-based Beverages & More's chain of stores, came to her after seeing the exit sign while traveling through Windsor in Sonoma County. Sales of the $15-a-bottle Sonoma Coast chardonnay and Napa Valley cabernet sauvignon brand have been doubling each of the two years the wine has been on the market.

Even when BevMo puts it on special, as it is now at $11, the profit margins are good, she noted. Private labels allow such retailers to get margins of 50 percent versus 30 percent or much less from wines that require distributor sales efforts.

Control brands allow retailers to try many options. Sonoma Wine has rolled out nine brands for one retailer in the past 12 month and likely will replace a few of them in the next 18 months.

On the horizon is the challenge of greater focus on winegrowing regions of origin in branding. That trend likely will collide with a dwindling long-term supply of bulk wine from specific regions, according to Ms. Giglio. For example, the company has been importing bulk pinot noir wine from Corsica because of high demand for the variety.
Fabulous news for red wine fans like me!!!!!
NRA + WINE????
Yeah, it doesn't make a ton of sense to me either!

Joel Stein and Fred Franzia?
Yes, I agree what a weird combo! Good article though....

School is back in session!
As school is back in session for most "kids" out there, including myself ( I am in the MBA program at Sonoma State Universary), it is time to get back in test-taking mode. Here are some wonderfully fun wine quizzes to keep you busy! :) Good luck!
Here's to Wine Month!
Let's all celebrate!
Wine Labels
When I was working at a winery before, I learned so much about the importance of design for wine labels. It was really fun, interesting, and also very eye opening. Here is a great article on the topic.
College Rules Wine!
A few nights ago I tried the Fresno State Winery's Merlot, sold @ the wonderful Trader Joe's. It was delish and all proceeds went to support Fresno State's Ag program. What a fabulous idea! More wine-friendly colleges should jump on this, like UC Davis and Sonoma State. Go try a bottle tonight!
Bar Speak
A cool article, very good to know!
Word is spreading!
Check out our recent article!
Sideways Quiz!
I know many in the wine industry think that the movie “Sideways” is just poorly made joke of a film, which simply proselytizes Pinot Noir, but I cannot help but love it! I think it is genuinely funny, and its subtle digs at the snobbiness of the wine industry are really amusing. Plus, the fact that the movie affected the sales of Pinot and Merlot is astounding!

So, in honor of one of my favorite movies, here is the Ultimate Sideways Quiz! I got a 10/10 on the easy version (it is really easy), but the more difficult one is really tough! I only scored a 6/10. Regardless, they are both fun! Post your scores! Good luck!
The Secret of Shiraz
If you are a Shiraz lover like me, you will find this very interesting,,25197,22169490-30417,00.html.
Even more screwcap controversy!
Adding even more fuel to the fire is this article from Decanter, Very interesting!
The Sonoma Square
After a video shoot got cancelled on me yesterday, I made my way to the Square in Sonoma. It is truly one of the most beautiful places in the world - and the most fun! One can go shopping at the Wine Hardware shop (where "A State of Vine" is going to be available), or the most amazing thrift store ever, The Church Mouse, or at some of the Fair Trade stores and jewelry and gift stores. Lunch at the original Mary's Pizza Shack, or at the Swiss Hotel's new restaurant, or an assortment of little cafes, or you can try the BBQ at the Sonoma Jack Cheese store, or just the delicious samples! And before the end of an perfect day in Sonoma, be sure to check out the Sonoma Mission, the last mission built in California. All in all, a fabulous day!
Delicious Dry Gewurztraminer!
After swimming many painful laps in the pool yesterday afternoon, I was hot, tired, and thirsty. Normally, I go right for a glass of a rich, fruity red, but with the heat, the appeal of a robust red just wasn't there. I hunted around my house, not finding anything that would quench my thirst, until I found one lone bottle of Harvest Moon's Dry Gewurztraminer, It was the perfect drink for a hot summer day!
Wine Points in Real Life!
Based on this hilarious post in the NY Times,, I have decided to also use the point system to rank random “stuff”!

Perez Hilton - 89 points

Paris Hilton - 50 points

Sex and the City - 98 points

Two-Buck Chuck - 99 points

Steak - 95 points

Rocky Balboa - 90 points

Jazz - 70 points

Shoulder Pads - 60 points

Chuck Klosterman - 88 points

The Rolling Stones - 97 points

Swedish Fish - 96 points

“A State of Vine” - 100 points! ?
Great, inexpensive wines!
In the SF Chronicle's article on "Bargain All-Stars", , 2 of the wines mentioned were produced by the Purple Wine Company, sister company of Sonoma Wine Company, who are not only featured in "A State of Vine", but are also a company I had the pleasure of working for. Highlighted are Mark West's Pinot Noir and Avalon's Napa Valley Cabernet, my personal favorite of the two wines. For about $10 a bottle, the Avalon is truly DELISH, and great deal for the money! I recommend going and picking up a bottle today!
While we are on the topic of Two Buck Chuck....
Any music fans out there among the wine loving public? If so, you must check this out: It was discovered during the production of “A State of Vine”, and is featured in the film. It is genius, true genius!
Two Buck Chuck Tasting
As a recent graduate of the Wine Business Program at Sonoma State University, I have spent the last 4 years learning not only the proper way to taste wine, the different faults to be found in it, the best regions for various varietals, etc., but most importantly, that wine is a business – and like all businesses there are creative differences, bitter battles, silly squabbles and powerful alliances. And within this mess, sits the godfather of the wine industry, Fred Franzia, my very own wine idol.

I brought a bottle of Two Buck Chuck in for a tasting one day; I saw no reason not to “mix it up” with some of the other varietals we were tasting. No sooner had the air hit the cork than the insults against the “cheap” wine began to fly. “ I might as well drink water,” came one voice across the room. “Um, no thanks!” came another reply. Into the spit cups went the wine – what a waste!

And so, the inspiration for our documentary “A State of Vine” – how could one group of people react to a wine in such disgust, while others (millions of others) buy it ravenously?

And now the nay-sayers are all a tizzy with news of Two Buck Chuck’s double gold for their ‘05 chardonnay.

I’m a going to set up a blind taste test and film it.

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