I went to a wonderful presentation last night at the St. Helena Library – Jill Silverman Hough was the speaker and she has just released her second book: 100 Perfect Pairings – Main Dishes to enjoy with wines you love. A cook by nature, she has embraced the wine culture and created recipes that complement and enhancement all different types of wine varietals. The tasting of the paired recipes and wines truly showed that she knows what she is doing – the small bites she created changed (for the better) the wine that was served.
Which brings us back to direct sales – are you giving your consumers recipes - or at least recipe suggestions – to pair with your wines? It is important to create a culture of food and wine together – it enchances the experience of the wine drinker which, ultimately, should engage them and bring them back for more. Jill had an interesting point last night – very few Tasting Rooms actually serve food (or nibbles, as she suggested – sometimes nuts or dried fruit is enough) to complement the wine in the glass as people were tasting. That said, it is important to make sure the correct food is served with the correct wine – otherwise, it could all go very wrong!
I always recommend to my clients that they include a recipe paired with a wine in every newsletter – and it can be a fun and rewarding experience creating and testing those recipes. Follow-up with your customers after the newsletter is sent – how did they like it? Did they change anything in the recipe? Did they try it with different wines? It is a great way to connect and engage in conversation – and, ultimately, feature your wine and increase your sales.
For more information on Jill’s cookbook and blog, please visit www.jillhough.com.