Category:Videos

Wine humor: One more reason why young people don’t buy wine

Comic Cam Bertrand’s incisive insights into why Millennials aren’t all that interested in wine

The wine business has been puzzled, mystified, and perplexed about reaching younger consumers for years. Comic Cam Bertrand, no Baby Boomer, has some words of wisdom – stop being so snotty about wine.

And Bertrand is damn funny about it, too. His merlot sipping and sniffing pantomime is spot on – and why can’t merlot pair with a Doritos Locos Taco?

Video courtesy of Dry Bar Comedy via YouTube

The WC video redux: Holiday wine tips

Plus, opening a sparkling wine bottle in just one take

Yes, this post ran about this time last year, but I wanted to put it up again for a couple of reasons. First, it’s timely — and a damn fine job, if I say so myself. Many thanks to host Michael Sansolo; his show is “Shopping with Michael” for the Private Label Manufacturers Association.

The other reason? Because this was the only video we did as part of the PLMA’s private label wine project. Our goal was to convince U.S. supermarkets to do for private label wine what European supermarkets do — high quality and low price.

But the pandemic edged our effort to the sidelines. And, more sadly, long-time PLMA president Brian Sharoff died at the end of the spring, and it was his vision that started the project. Brian gave me a chance to work on it, and I will always be grateful for the opportunity.

So, I’m posting this one more time for Brian. He is much missed, and not just because he always made fun of my hats.

Call it the Cheap Wine Eater, and it’s out to premiumize the Federation

Can Kirk make the Federation safe for $10 wine by destroying the Cheap Wine Eater?

The Doomsday Machine, better known to the crew of the USS Enterprise as the Cheap Wine Eater, is trying to premiumize every wine in the Federation. Fortunately for wine drinkers from Vulcan to Rigel to Tellar, James Tiberius Kirk has a plan — overload the impulse engines on the damaged USS Constellation to destroy the Cheap Wine Eater.

This parody comes from “The Doomsday Machine,” the sixth episode of the second season of the original series. It has many of the bits that made “Star Trek” so much fun — a plot lifted from great literature (in this case, “Moby Dick”); an over the top performance by guest star William Windom, who does Ahab via Humphrey Bogart in “The Caine Mutiny;” Scotty in a Jefferies tube; and William Shatner’s impeccable Kirk, wearing his green wraparound tunic instead of the standard uniform top. And I can hear Kirk saying, “Premium-eye-zation” just the way he says, “Civil-eye-zation,” with that touch of a Canadian accent.

My apologies to all in the cast featured here, as well as to the late Star Trek impresario Gene Roddenberry. A tip o’ the WC’s fedora to Mike Leo on YouTube, where I found the original scene, as well as Star Trek Transcripts, which has the original dialogue. And all silliness like this owes a debt to WineParody, whose Robert Parker epic is the standard by which these efforts are judged.

Make sure you turn captions on when you watch the video; you can make the captions bigger or change their color by clicking on the settings gear on the lower right.

Churro, the blog’s associate editor, contributed to this post

More wine and film parodies:
Robin Hood
Enter the Dragon
Shaft

Jacques Pepin: I usually buy wine that costs less than $10

Don’t believe the Wine Curmudgeon about the value of cheap wine? Then listen to the great Jacques Pepin

One criticism of the blog that has been consistent since it started: The Wine Curmudgeon doesn’t know anything about wine. Why else would I recommend cheap wine? This has come from blog visitors, sommeliers, and even other wine writers.

So I offer this, from legendary chef Jacques Pepin. He has cooked for several presidents of France, including Charles de Gaulle; written 36 cookbooks; earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree at Columbia University; and taught classes at colleges around the country. So he may know a thing or two about the subject.

Pepin talks about the role wine played on his series of cooking shows in the 1980s and 1990s, at the beginning of the U.S. wine boom. He thought it was important to introduce U.S. viewers to the joys of wine and food. He also thought it was important to point out that wine doesn’t have to be expensive: “I am not a snob about wine, you know. I usually buy a bottle under $10 or whatever, if you know what to buy.”

Which is where the WC comes in — because I have been here for 15 years helping you know what to buy.

This interview comes from a series Pepin recorded for the Television Academy Foundation, which has taped thousands of  interviews with people from the history of TV — actors, producers, writers, hosts, and the like. The Pepin series is worth watching, and especially when he discusses his friendship and working relationship with Julia Child.

More about wine and cooking shows:
Jacques Pepin loves cheap wine
Christopher Kimball: “Wine is too hard”
Julia Child and wine, both local and cheap

TV wine ads: Australia’s Brokenwood Cellars, and how wine commercials haven’t changed in 50 years

Is there really any difference between this 2016 TV wine ad and any made almost 50 years ago? Which is sad, isn’t it?

Remember all those corny 1970s TV wine ads we’ve dissected on the blog? Who knew someone would make the same kind of ad almost 50 years later?

But that’s the case with this effort from Australia’s Brokenwood Cellars, which does everything but call on the shade of Orson Welles to chant, “We will sell no one wine before its time.” Does the narration really say (around 0:30) that Brokenwood makes wine “to be drunk and enjoyed, savored and admired?” What else are we supposed to do with it? Spit it out?

Brokenwood wines aren’t readily available in the U.S., but appear to be critically respected. Which makes the ad that much more difficult to figure out — if you’re already well thought of, why bother with this? It’s the kind of faux image building that less respected brands do to puff up their reputation. If you make quality wine, why gild the lily with a shot of someone’s gnarled hands?

More about TV wine ads:
TV wine ads: Does Stella Rosa’s sweet fizzy red commercial do what Big Wine can’t?
TV wine ads: San Giuseppe Wines, because you can never have too much bare skin in a wine ad
TV wine ads: King Solomon wine, because “Tonight … the king is in town”

Video courtesy of Rollingball Productions via YouTube

TV wine ad update: Does Stella Rosa’s sweet fizzy red commercial do what Big Wine can’t?

Is this spot for Stella Rosa’s sweet fizzy red, Black Lux, more effective TV advertising than anything Big Wine has come up with? Sure seems like it

The blog regularly rants and raves about Big Wine’s pathetic efforts at TV advertising, and especially at its failure to reach younger wine consumers with epics like (shudder) the Roo.

So how did Stella Rosa, owned by a little known Los Angeles wine producer, get this ad right? Because, after all, the company isn’t a huge multi-national with a massive marketing budget and creative geniuses on the payroll.

The secret, to paraphrase the blog’s official wine marketing guru? Stella Rosa knows its audience. Watch this commercial for its Black Lux, a pricey, sweet fizzy Italian red, and you’ll want to buy the wine and make the recipe — even if you don’t like pricey, sweet fizzy Italian reds. The commercial is fun and accessible; who else has paired tomato soup and wine? And it doesn’t hurt that the spot “borrows” its overhead, cooking hands format from popular Millennial cooking shows like Tastemade.

Best yet, the ad is not about making fun of wine snobs or showing impossibly beautiful people drinking wine that they wouldn’t touch unless they were being paid to do it. Because we know how little that has worked — and why we shouldn’t be surprised that Stella Rose sells more than 2 million cases of wine a year.

Video courtesy of Stella Rosa via YouTube

TV wine ads: Mateus rose — “it’s like a trip to Portugal”

This 1971 Mateus rose ad may explain why it took so long for rose to become popular in the U.S.

Mateus was what passed for rose in those long ago days before the U.S. wine boom — a sweetish, fizzy pink wine from Portugal made with grapes that were obscure even then.

It was huge in the late 1960s and early 1970s, selling some 10 million cases a year. Those are Barefoot numbers, but in a much smaller U.S. wine market. What sold Mateus rose was the bottle — more youth oriented than the traditional 750 ml effort, and perfect for using as a candlestick while drinking the wine and listening to Carole King’s “Tapestry.” In fact, you can buy Mateus bottles on eBay, and the wine itself is still around, too — $5 a bottle, and tasting pretty much like it always has.

The ad misses the point of Mateus’ popularity. Why would Portugal be a selling point for the wine (and the less said about the jingle, the better)? But that it misses the point is not surprising. It is a wine ad, after all.

Video courtesy of robatsea2009 via YouTube

More about TV wine ads:
TV wine ads: San Giuseppe Wines, because you can never have too much bare skin in a wine ad
TV wine ads: King Solomon wine, because “Tonight … the king is in town”
TV wine ads: Almost 40 years of awful