I’ve written quite a bit about Stormhoek here and even themed a podcast around the South African winery. So today I was again pleased to see them further expand their online marketing efforts with the addition of Gia Milinovich as a guest blogger.
If you’ve never heard of Gia, she is a blogger and British television presenter best known for her work on technology focused shows. But what does she know about wine, you might be wondering? From her first post on the Stormhoek blog it would appear not much more than the majority of wine consumers. This is what I think this is brilliant from a marketing perspective, because the winery will develop closer relationships with customers who will identify with some of Gia’s questions and be subtly educated along the way to prefer the Stormhoek brand. I think we are witnessing the future of wine marketing here.
In her inaugural post, Gia asks five questions that seem common to non wine-geek types like me and most other wine bloggers. I thought it would be fun to respond to each of them here:
1. What is a good wine to take to a dinner party when you don’t know what’s being served?
This is a common issue for all of us no matter how deep our wine knowledge. I usually bring two bottles to dinner parties, a white and a red. Both should be food friendly such as Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir. In the Stormhoek range, I’d pick the fine Pinotage for the red here. Should I bring just one bottle it would be either a rose or sparkling wine such as Champagne. Both of these pair with a wide variety of food.
2. If you don’t know the names of wines or vineyards, how do you choose what to drink at a restaurant?
Great question that is probably the biggest source of stress for most people. Assuming you are in a restaurant that has good wine service, I’d ask the sommelier for a suggestion. Be clear on how much money you want to spend and what types of wine you enjoy. He or she will ask what kinds of food will be ordered to narrow down the selection(s). If you are in a restaurant without a sommelier, I would look for brands I have enjoyed in the past first, then varietals I like second.
3. What if you don’t finish the whole bottle? Can you keep it until the next day without it turning into vinegar?
If local laws allow, restaurants will re-cork your unfinished bottle for you to take home. The wine should be fine for a day or two particularly if you store it in your refrigerator (including reds, but allow them to warm up before drinking). I use Vac-u-vin as a way to preserve open bottles up to a week after opening.
4. How do you get red wine stains out of carpet/clothing?
Two words: Wine Away.
5. Does that funny sucking/slurping way of tasting wine actually improve the flavour or do you just like looking silly?
While this technique may look silly, it actually provides better aeration of the wine in your mouth and exposes the wine to more flavor receptors on your tongue. All of this improves the flavor of the wine and helps us to write more detailed tasting notes. Unless I’m at a tasting with other wine geeks, I try to be subtle about this to avoid the arched eyebrow from my wife 😉
Great questions, Gia. Rock on…