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Guy Woodward: no more ivory tower posturing, let's get personal with consumers

Published:  04 July, 2014

Harpers is pleased to announce it has signed up Guy Woodward, former editor of Decanter, as a regular columnist and contributor.This month he tips his cap to the creative minds at Naked Wines and other innovative retail sites that are genuinely communicating to consumers in a way they can understand and says there are so many lessons to be learnt from the old school wine trade still stuck in its ivory tower. 

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Jerry Lockspeiser is enthralled by the wine business insights of Mike Veseth

Published:  29 May, 2014

Mike Veseth is an unusual academic. Professor emeritus of international political economy at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington, and an economist who studies global wine markets, he writes about wine business issues with a down to earth populist ease that Nigel Farage would be proud of. His enthusiastic, chatty style resembles a conversation over a glass of Merlot in a wine bar. He makes his subject highly accessible and clearly loves this world.

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Jerry Lockspeiser: Call My Wine Bluff proves people just want to have fun with wine!

Published:  16 May, 2014

As reported in Harpers in March we aimed to raise enough at this year's Call My Wine Bluff to pass £1 million since our first event 6 years ago. Thanks to the generosity and spirit of the 180 people who laughed, listened, chatted and drank their way through the evening (no one was spitting thank God) we did - by some way.

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Mark Fiddes on why he is struggling with the beer brand smarm offensive

Published:  25 April, 2014

You may recognise the symptoms. It's more debilitating than hay fever; the snarling of the lip, the nausea, an ennui so enervating that zapping from Dave TV to a living human channel is almost impossible.

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Jerry Lockspeiser: do wine buyers get the suppliers they deserve?

Published:  07 April, 2014

Jerry Lockspeiser, chairman of Off-Piste Wines, discusses the challenges wine buyers may encounter with suppliers and a five point plan on how to get the most out of a supplier relationship.

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Tim Atkin MW: Why en primeur is not working

Published:  04 April, 2014

Tim Atkin MW on why the en primeur system needs urgent reform to not only regain the trust of critics and the trade alike but most importantly keep it relevant and credible to future investors. 

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Mike Paul: is the new EU planting wine regime a missed opportunity or pragmatic compromise?

Published:  04 March, 2014

Given the space devoted recently to predictions relating to the future of the wine business I've been surprised at the lack of attention focused on the new EU vine planting regime which is due to come into effect at the end of 2015. From that date each member state with over 50,000 hectares under vine will be able to add 1% per year to its vineyard area.

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Mark Fiddes how history can give your brand a cause to celebrate

Published:  25 February, 2014

"Beware of Greeks bearing gifts," said Laocoon of the Trojan Horse.

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Jerry Lockspeiser: when it comes to liking wine preconceptions are everything

Published:  21 February, 2014

Many years ago I was trying to sell Argentinean wine to the Co-op. We had a delicious, modern style Torrontes that had been custom made for the UK market but I just could not persuade the buyer, of its merits. He tasted it several times always with the same result: he said he didn't like Torrontes. 

 

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Jerry Lockspeiser on why wine is for drinking and not for a health or fitness regime

Published:  23 January, 2014

Negative reports about alcohol are as frequent as Manchester City goals. So it would be nice to believe the studies suggesting that the legalised drug we peddle is infact good for health. 

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Two Good, 2 Bad fo 2013, Hopes and Fears for 2014: Jerry Lockspeiser, Off Piste Wines

Published:  26 December, 2013

Settle in to Boxing Day in the capable hands of Jerry Lockspeiser of Off Piste Wines as he looks back on his good and bad memories of 2013 and his hopes and fears for 2014.

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Using social media is one thing, being interesting is another, says Jerry Lockspeiser

Published:  19 December, 2013

The message I heard being yelled at wine businesses more than any other this year was 'Wake up to Social Media'. For anyone interested in communicating with consumers it's got to be at the centre of company and brand marketing plans for 2014. Or has it?

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Mike Paul on taking commercial education to the next level

Published:  18 December, 2013

A recurring theme at the recent Wine Vision Conference was that the wine industry needed to improve its marketing. We are too production oriented: we don't really understand the consumer. If we have heard it once we have heard it a thousand times and I'd be surprised if anyone in the room in fact disagreed with the message.

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Mark Fiddes: why some celebs shift brands and others don't

Published:  16 December, 2013

Jean-Claude Van Damme demonstrating Volvo trucks = 60 million hits on You Tube.

Jean-Claude Van Damme demonstrating the world's coldest beer = 120,000 hits.

It just goes to show that the script idea is as important as the personality you buy in advertising. Personally, I prefer to see the Muscles from Brussels wrangling monster metal rather than hearing that his nipples were "so cold they started talking to me". But at least Coors Lite has arrived on the beer map and, in downtown Skopje, distressed denim appears to have made a comeback along with the mulle

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Jerry Lockspeiser: why we need to price wines on enjoyment not what they cost

Published:  28 November, 2013

Imagine for a moment that Champagne does not exist. The sparkling wine market is dominated by cava and prosecco with competition from the New World.  Consumers are accustomed to affordable, well made but largely uninspiring sparkling wines.

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Mark Fiddes on the art of good storytelling when advertising vodka

Published:  22 November, 2013

What does a Long Slow Comfortable Screw Up Against The Wall have in common with Plutonium?

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Mike Paul: in search of the true value of a bottle of wine

Published:  18 November, 2013

The BBC Watchdog reporton the questionable value of half price deals in the supermarkets sparked a great deal of interest. Such deals have always stirred emotions, but the ensuing discussion also  highlighted  a concern I have when I hear commentators making definitive statements about the price a particular wine is worth.

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Jerry Lockspeiser on why we should not turn our backs on sweet wine drinkers

Published:  07 November, 2013

It is said that what America does today the UK follows a few years later. So it's no surprise that wine styles which have become popular over the pond are beginning to show up here. But sweeter reds? Whatever is the world coming to?

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Jerry Lockspeiser stands up for the WSTA: a great British success

Published:  01 November, 2013

The Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) has been around for a decade short of 200 years. Its name evokes wood panelled board rooms and gentlemanly discussions more than the world of Google and iPhone apps.

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Mark Fiddes on whether marketing with cats is the "purrfect" way to sell more wine

Published:  01 November, 2013

"My name is Tiddles...this is my first time at Moggies Anonymous.

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