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Expert Editorial

How to Get Off in the Best Possible Way

How to Get Off in the Best Possible Way

I am sure that many of you clicked this link for all the wrong reasons. The title is meant to evoke the ease of click baiting – you should mirror the ease to move your products off an retailer’s shelf. Perhaps it is not that easy at all, but it can be, and how you approach your […]

Small Brands Need a Better Fit in the Market

Small Brands Need a Better Fit in the Market

In my role as National Spokesperson for Liberation Distribution I have been making the rounds at industry meetings and events for the last few months. I sit at the podium, microphone, or stage and talk about how small or orphaned brands do not get a fair shake with the Big 5. I sit in the round table […]

The Adult Beverage Version of the Berlin Wall Has Fallen

The Adult Beverage Version of the Berlin Wall Has Fallen

From 1961 to 1989 the Berlin Wall cut off and divided West Berlin from East Berlin. In November of 1989 it came down and reunited a city, a county, and perhaps Europe. Why it was there and what it stood for is not this article, what it was symbolic of has meaning today. Today, Phase […]

Selling Wine Through Facebook Requires the Tenacity for Testing of a Sadistic High School Geometry Teacher Giving Surprise Quizzes

Selling Wine Through Facebook Requires the Tenacity for Testing of a Sadistic High School Geometry Teacher Giving Surprise Quizzes

Remember that teacher in high school who relentlessly surprised the class with random, mid-week quizzes? The secret to success of selling wine through Facebook comes down to channeling that bit of her personality that loved testing. But unlike finally acing that class, Facebook advertising is a constantly moving target with a bunch of ‘gotchas’. Although […]

I Went to the Gym and Forgot My Shorts at Home

I Went to the Gym and Forgot My Shorts at Home

Pretty weird headline for a business article, I know! Weird but true, absolutely true! I like to go to the gym when I am back in my home town of Chicago. I am relegated to hotel gyms and cross fit drop in sessions when I travel, so I really relish my “home” gym. I can […]

Placing Your Brands with Big Distribution Is Like Dating a Supermodel

Placing Your Brands with Big Distribution Is Like Dating a Supermodel

This article is penned at 30,000 feet traveling home from a weekend in Las Vegas. Two things about Vegas that are always interesting facts is that in Vegas, the house always wins—always, and second, Vegas is the second largest bar and restaurant population per square block aside from Key West, Florida. There are more bars, […]

Brands and Distribution for the 99%

Brands and Distribution for the 99%

I am feeling pretty good about myself lately. My articles are getting a lot of comments, “likes” and feedback. In this Snapchat world, this is how we measure happiness. Now I am not in search of the spotlight so much to think that I am a spectacular writer or orator. But what I do believe […]

What Happened to the Old Days in the Wine and Spirit Game!

What Happened to the Old Days in the Wine and Spirit Game!

I left the retail wine and spirits game many years ago. After being an operator for 20+ years at Sam’s of Chicago, we decided as a family, we did not want to die behind the counter. A fate that many retailers suffer. When I left the game, I went into consulting. First at PricewaterhouseCoopers (please […]

All Tiers Need to Listen Up!

All Tiers Need to Listen Up!

Every Wednesday in the local papers, usually in the Good Eating section or the Food section are an assortment of wine/beer/liquor ads. Sometimes they are really pretty and well designed. Sometimes they are a grocery list of brands and pricing. I have been involved in the adult beverage business for nearly 40 years and that […]

Change Is in the Wine from the Wine and Spirit Daily Summit

Change Is in the Wine from the Wine and Spirit Daily Summit

There was an overarching sense of “tiger by the tail” mentality about millennials, RTD drinks, craft everything, and distributor consolidation. There were some musings about DTC shipping, Amazon, the next Fireball and Yellow Tail, cans over bottle and of course, wine in a box. I left the summit with a sense of we all know […]

The Myth of the Producer Ride Along

The Myth of the Producer Ride Along

It is a right of passage in the adult beverage business. A producer comes to a market and rides around with the sales team or market manager and visits accounts. As old as the three-tier system is this practice. There are really two points of view on this practice; besides the overarching thought that it […]

It Is All in the Wrapping!

It Is All in the Wrapping!

I was fortunate enough to have been asked to judge packaging for brands at Tastings.com/ Beverage Testing Institute last week. What a wonderful experience to be able to see so many aspiring brands submit their outer shell for review, ratings and comments. My one major takeaway was, as my 12 year old would say: WTF! […]

Tasting Room Trends: 2016 Review & 2017 Forecasts

Tasting Room Trends: 2016 Review & 2017 Forecasts

At VingDirect, we exist to help family wineries grow their direct to consumer sales. Our winery clients receive education and training, customized consulting, and our Performance Tracker (PT) software, which provides actionable tasting room data. Ours is the only benchmarking tool in the wine industry and we’re happy to share 2016 learnings and insight to what we think […]

3 Adult Beverage Trends to Expect in 2017

3 Adult Beverage Trends to Expect in 2017

I am not a betting man. In fact, when I do bet, I usually lose. I am horrific in betting sports, elections, random things, and I am equally bad at Rock, Paper, and Scissors that is essentially a bet on a chance pull. But, for nearly 5 years I have written a trends article and […]

Data Is Driving the Wine Industry

Data Is Driving the Wine Industry

There’s no shortage of mobile apps these days to find wines, remember what you drank, or even have wine delivered to your door in under an hour. But with so many apps and new technologies, it can be difficult for producers and suppliers to determine how the changing landscape of technology in the wine industry […]