If you have a book with a catchy title, you generally make your Publicist pretty happy. This is one of the early lessons in using a PR agency, give them something to work with – you, title, description and belief in what you’re about. I’ve been in front of audiences teaching my particular point of view on wine since the late 90’s. The title “I Drink on the Job” is actually my motto that I’ve been using at TasteDC ever since I experimented with personal anecdotes on a private culinary jet tour of Europe in 2001 – I forget the other motto I tried, but it didn’t work, the group of wealthy Americans said stick with drinking on the job! My description of who and what I am and do is still being worked on by my new agency (which is Hisaoka out of DC, BTW..), but my belief in the book and what I have to offer the world is strong – I have commitment! Now the question is how do I package and market myself, I don’t fit well into a bottle?
A few nights ago at a fun gathering at a L2 (a club in Georgetown) someone I was introduced to mentioned that I sort of reminded them of Anthony Bourdain. This was for me like hitting the jackpot: I’m 5’9″ tall, so no one would ever physically mistake me for Bourdain, but there are some interesting similarities. The most obvious traits we have in common are that we both tend to go against the grain of our respective industries and in many ways we represent the underbelly. I have always challenged the orthodoxy of the wine industry both from the perspective of the rep who is forced to push his product and the wine educator who feels compelled to repeat the wisdom they are taught without questioning the content. In the past, I have publicly stated that if I don’t enjoy a wine, I will say so to everyone and express my convictions. That’s it – express my convictions – I don’t need to gain agreement from my peers in order to be a success. I will probably never take the WSET wine education programs not so much because I’m obstinate, but more because I want to truly think outside the box. And BTW, I drink wine out of the box, I just purchased a 1 liter tetrapak for a whopping $5.99 at WF and that was discounted 50% – so nobody wants to purchase box wine right now, watch, it will be considered trendy and hip in the U.S. in about 2 months, mark my words!
So my current goal is to develop my persona into a marketable entity. My PR company is meeting with me again next week to see what the opportunities are and where I can best fit into the media world unfolding out there. Gary Vaynerchuk is a wine God, and he has truly opened up the Web 2.0/Social Media world to wine as entertainment, so the model is unfolding in front of our collective eyes. The answer is “No” – I don’t want to be a Bourdain or a Vaynerchuk, I want to be Charlie Adler with my own message on wine with my title quote and favorite wine quote: “a meal without wine is breakfast”! I’ll update the blog as my identity unfolds for the marketing world. I also guarantee I won’t be a sell-out, but you know I can always be influenced by a free trip to wine country because I’m..
Charlie “I Drink on the Job” Adler