Archive for November, 2009

Obama and the “White Revolution”

November 23, 2009

written by Michael Oudyn

Obama "White Revolution" Rioja tshirt

“White Revolution” Rioja style

I was covering the Wine Future congress in Logroño, Spain with It was being billed as “the greatest wine congress ever.”  Wine´s  heavy hitters  and glitterati were present: Robert Parker, Jancis Robinson, Gary Vaynerchuck, and Barack Obama.  President Obama? Well, yes. His  “yes, we can”  face was everywhere: on T-shirts, posters, everywhere.  But with a new-twist second slogan: “The White Revolution.”   Our first black president linked to a white revolution?  Was this some kind of weird, surreal image rip-off?  Had I wandered  nto the Rioja chapter of the KKK by mistake?  Was last night´s red Rioja messing with my head?

None of the above.  Not only were these two slogans a brilliant bit of catch-your-attention marketing, they actually made coherent sense. I interviewed Ricardo Amarbarri of Castillo de Maetierra a family-owned (more…)

“Le Beaujolais nouveau est arrive!”

November 17, 2009

written Michael Oudyn

The third Thursday of November is just around the corner and that can mean just one thing: “Le Beaujolais nouveau est arrive!”   This greatest wine slogan of all time is just one of media gimmicks and marketing hype which have turned this humble mediocrity into a profitable universal icon.

So how did all this happen?  Before World War II Beaujolais nouveau was sold in barrels for local consumption, especially in the bistros of nearby Lyons where it was so popular it was called “the third river of Lyon”.  After the war they started bottling the stuff and sending it to Paris where it was also a great bistro hit.  Then George Duboeuf, Beaujolais´ largest negociant and tireless mass-marketing genius, came up his greatest promotion stunt: the Beaujolais-nouveau race to Paris.  The media (more…)