Comments on the wine and spirits business

Let Me in Coach, I’m Ready to Play

USA Trade TastingAs many of you know I’m passionate about helping open the doors of the U.S. market to new Bev. Alc. brands.  From the U.S. Drinks Conference to the lectures I’ve given at international trade conferences, I’ve invested a lot of time telling people how hard it is to break into America.  Then Sid Patel of Beverage Trade Network figured out that it was time to stop talking about how hard it is, and give suppliers a practical way they can get their brands here and presented to the trade.  Kudos to him for making me focus less on lectures and more on solutions.

So, mark your calendars for March 21-23, 2016.  The USA Trade Tasting will be held those three days at the Metropolitan Pavilion in New York City. (Link to register is here and at the bottom of this post)

Why it’s important?

This is not just another walkaround tasting from X country or Y region.  It’s a radical new spin on wine and spirits trade shows in the U.S. that directly addresses the needs and interests of importers and distributors.  We did the research and found out that in order to take the time out of their busy day to go to a tasting, they’d much rather explore multiple regions and countries and not be limited to just one. Similarly on and off premise retailers aren’t interested in what’s not available, they only want to see what is.

So the program features a creative new option for currently-not-imported wineries to use to be able to present and sell their products, courtesy of John Beaudette’s team at MHW that will be fully compliant with the Three-Tier System.  In point of fact,  USATT is modeled on Vinitaly, ProWein and Vinexpo in that buyers will be connecting with sellers, but done in a way that plays by the rules in the U.S.

There are three parts to the program:

  1. A tasting of wines from a wide range of countries, regions, producers and importers: Italy, Spain, Australia, France, Germany, South Africa.  Slovenia is coming as is Sweden (presenting a cider).  There will be a parallel track of masterclasses on the wines of Australia, South Africa, Chile and New York State.
  2. A full day of presentations, panels and discussions on the critical issues and changes taking place in our industry. Some high-profile names will be speaking including Danny Brager of Nielsen, Jim Ryan of Constellation, Rob Bradshaw of Cape Classics, Josh Wand of Bev Force, Marcy Whitman of Palm Bay, Scott Ades of Winebow, John Beaudette of MHW…and me.  (In fact, I’ll be EmCee’ing the whole lashup)
  3. Shark Tank in a bottle: Our industry’s very own riff on Shark Tank where four different–and very lucky–producers will get 15 minutes to pitch their products to interested importers and distributors.  Trust me, this is going to be QUITE entertaining.

WIIFM:  OK, so “what’s in it for me?” you ask.  A chance to participate in a trade event that’s new, innovative and addresses the specific needs of the trade.  An opportunity to see wines, spirits, beers and ciders that you’d never otherwise have had a chance to taste.  Beyond that an opportunity to demonstrate your support in making our archaically-regulated industry just a bit more user-friendly to foreigners.   And it will be fun…I think you’ll learn something you didn’t know, meet someone new, or just connect with old friends and support the cause.

I’ve invested an incredible amount of time in this …and will continue to…because I believe the industry needs to move forward and open up for the little guys.  And I’m not the only one; Sponsors include Bev Media, Wines of South Africa and Wine Australia, New York Wine and Grape Foundation, IWSR, and Wine Industry Insight.  Join us on the journey to make this happen.

Click through to this direct link to EventBrite to register:   http://www.eventbrite.com/e/2016-usa-trade-tasting-visitor-registration-portal-tickets-17315286488?aff=bevology

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Be Successful in America

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