Salut! 2015 - My Apothic Discovery

at the Wine Rack

With Christopher Reckord

Thursday, December 03, 2015

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Salut!, the unique series of events created by the Jamaica Observer to celebrate the 'other' aspects of the Jamaican epicurean landscape, is in its fifth year and is now a fixture on the local culinary calendar. From the wine point of view I am always interested in learning about and, more importantly tasting new wines on the market at Salut! This past week I had the great opportunity to enjoy at least five new wines that were first poured at these events. Because of its origins, today I will highlight one of these brands: the Apothic Blends.

Winning Wines

J Wray and Nephew ushered in Salut! at its @TwentyThree venue pouring seven wines, to the delight of their guests and guests of Salut! presenting sponsor Scotiabank. The red wines poured were the Apothic Red and Louis Martini Cabernet Sauvignon; for white wines we enjoyed two new wines on the market, the Apothic White and Starbourgh Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand. The sparkling wines for the evening were Andre Moscato, Andre Rose, and the Cinzano Prosecco.

The wines that Business Analytics made

I was particularly interested in tasting the Apothic White because the Apothic Red has had tremendous success on the international and local markets since its introduction. These brands are owned by America's largest winery - E & J Gallo Winery. What piqued my interest even before the wines touched down in Jamaica was that the Gallo organisation has earned numerous accolades in the IT industry for its use of information technology in the wine business. In a report a few years ago by online IT industry magazine InformationWeek, they reported that Gallo has more than 500 terabytes of data on everything from the vintages and varieties of the grapes it uses, to the brands it produces and ships, to detail on its distributors' buying habits. Can you imagine how much information they have on us now? Gallo is very serious about data analytics and they collate data to know exactly what varietals and wine styles consumers are buying.

Gallo uses the deep insight it gets from all of this analytics to develop new brands. Gallo surveys consumers at tasting events and in tasting rooms. Using the information gathered, Gallo spotted big potential demand for a blended red wine that would appeal to the first three of its style clusters: sweet and fruity, light body and fruity, medium body and rich flavour. It used extensive knowledge of the flavour characteristics of more than 5,000 varieties of grapes and data on varietal business fundamentals --like the availability and cost patterns of different grapes from season to season --to come up with the Apothic brand. InformationWeek went on to say that after it came up with Apothic, Gallo used its deep sales data and marketing analytics to validate the potential of the brand, balancing price, volume, and margin trade-offs for Gallo as well as for its distributors and retailers.

With all the data that's available to Gallo, they can model all of the choices in developing a particular brand down to the label and bottle, and they know the number of consumers out there that would like that particular style.

As the data predicted, like the Apothic Red, the White was a crowd pleaser. Apothic White is an approachable blend that combines Chardonnay, Riesling and Moscato to create a luscious, vibrant wine in the bold style of Apothic. Intense flavours of peach, pineapple, honey and vanilla spice make this smooth white blend unforgettable.

Join us next week as we share more highlights from Salut!

Christopher Reckord - Entrepreneur & Wine Enthusiast. Send your questions and comments to creckord@gmail.com. Instagram: @chrisreckord Twitter: @Reckord

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