Creative Wine Tasting with Grapes in a Glass

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I didn’t start drinking alcohol until I was 21. It was a personal value of mine to wait until I was legally able to do so and I’m on the board of a nonprofit that promotes positive choices for your young leaders - it’s called Ohio Teen Institute. When I did finally turn 21, I ended up studying abroad in Italy. That means my drinking culture was influenced by the Italian way of life, which meant drinking wine! After returning home, I sought out the coolest wineries and wine bars in my area - this episode features one of the best.

You can listen to the episode and read the transcription below. You can also listen on Apple Podcasts, Google Play Music, YouTube, or anywhere else you get your podcasts by searching “Creativity Killed the Cat”.

— Intro —

Hey there all you beautiful people! Welcome to the Creativity Killed the Cat podcast. My name's Andrew Chwalik and I’m going to be helping you develop creative marketing that won’t break the bank.

As always, our episode is brought to you by Twillful. My creative marketing agency that helps businesses develop and implement creative marketing campaigns as well as energize their social presence.

Oh, you want a fun fact? Well, you’re getting one.

Fun Fact: I’m a nut about soccer. I’ve played since I was a small child and even went on to play at Walsh University. If you don’t know, the World Cup is going on right now. And since the United States is not in it, I’m pulling for England and Poland this time around.

Alright, on with the show!

Remember, I take one small business or brand and develop some creative marketing concepts that could be implemented as soon as you finish listening to this podcast.

— Marketing Chat —

If you know me well, you would know that I love wine. When I was young, I always thought drinking wine would make me seem more sophisticated. The cool part is, I waited until I was 21 to drink and it just so happened that I ended up studying in Italy right around this time. That means my drinking culture was created in Italy where there is fantastic wine everywhere. Honestly, in most restaurants, wine is actually cheaper than water. Crazy. There's a reason I’m going on about wine to kick off this episode because the company were featuring knows all about it! But before things get too wild, let’s chat a bit about display marketing.

Alright, specifically we’re going to talk about display marketing within grocery stores. This topic is relevant for two reasons: one, I just saw an awesome display done by Hersey’s in Kroger. Head over to the Creativity Killed the Cat Facebook Page to check it out, I posted the picture. Two, more and more companies continue to shove their products into stores and it’s difficult to get noticed by consumers. Seriously, the next time you’re in a grocery store, look down a few isles. Take in all the colors, products, and brands. It can be pretty overwhelming. As a brand, trying to get noticed can be a daunting task.

Display marketing is one great way you can get noticed in such a cluttered marketplace. If you don’t take part in this type of marketing even just a little, you better have an amazing product or some spectacular packaging. Really though, those two things are kind of necessary anyway. Don’t even get me started if you’re a new brand. How else would you expect to get noticed? You can’t leave things to chance because 9 times out of ten, customers are going to select the brand they know. That is a trend that we see passed down through the generations. Why do you use Colgate toothpaste? There are other brands that offer the same flavors, maybe even some different ones. In most cases, it’s because your parents purchased Colgate so you do the same. It’s what you’re used to. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a bad thing. It’s just how consumer behavior works. I do the exact same in some scenarios. When it comes to cereal, I purchase the same five kinds that my parents bought when I was a kid. Don’t look at me weird, fruity pebbles still tastes great. Yeah, I probably should go with something healthier for breakfast, but that's not the point. The point is that purchase behavior remains pretty consistent over time so it’s difficult for new brands to jump in to the mix. 

I dropped all that knowledge to show you how important it is to have some form of display marketing integrated into your marketing plan when in a grocery store. You don’t have to get as crazy as Hersey did, but it certainly makes their product stand out. Only issue is that those types of displays can be quite expensive to create and put in stores. However, there are some more creative ways you can dabble with display marketing and not break your bank account. Have you ever been to Costco or Sam's Club? What’s your favorite thing about those stores, besides the low prices? The free samples! Heck yes! That’s a form of display marketing, and a pretty good one at that. Not only are you getting your product in front of potential customers, you’re actually giving them a free trial! Freaking awesome. Plus, you’re able to engage with people and answer their questions. If you set it up correctly, this is one of the best type of display marketing tactics you can implement. And it won’t cost you an arm and a leg. Always a good thing.

The goal of display marketing is to stand out and get noticed. That means this is the time where it pays off the be different and maybe a little weird. Add some weird flap to your box that encourages customers to grab it. Hire a freestyler to juggle a soccer ball in the isle where you’re selling world cup jerseys. Stack your packages in a pyramid. Do anything you can to get noticed. As long as you have a quality product, you should focus all your energy on getting people aware of your offering. It doesn’t matter how good it is, if they don’t know it exists, they won’t buy it. Display marketing will help with that.

Alright, it’s time. Pour yourself that glass of wine you’ve been thinking about since the beginning of this episode.

Grapes in a Glass

Grapes in a Glass is a wine bar located in the heart of downtown Canton’s arts district. You can enjoy your favorite guilty pleasure curbside, on their dog-friendly outdoor patio or inside their cozy shop. Each staff member is highly trained to guide you through your tasting experience. No matter your level of wine knowledge or the size of your party, they are prepared to answer any questions you may have. Plus, they have a menu of creative small plate creations that are perfect to satisfy your palate. Not to mention, I’ve actually been to Grapes in a Glass on a date in college and it was an awesome experience!

Alright, now that you know where to hangout and get some great wine, let’s get creative.

I really hope you know who Gary Vaynerchuck is. If not, go look him up right now, but search for his older content. He’s a social media superstar in the business world, but actually got his start with wine! He published “Wine Library” videos where he tasted wine and talked about the various characteristics. This all went down before social media even existed so now you don’t have any excuses. These videos he made ended up making his wine business a huge success and something similar could do the same for you. I’m talking about making you own “Wine Library”. Your entire staff knows about wine and your founder is a sommelier and wine educator, literally the perfect combination for wine themed videos. Your website also mentions that you have a sexy location, I’d have to agree. SO START SHOWING OFF YOUR EXPERTISE AND COOL SHOP.

Here’s the plan. You’re going to produce one video a week. That’s a good consistent starting point. Take a single bottle of wine per video and go through a small taste test. Talk about the various flavors and some of the other characteristics. This will allow your audience to be more educated on the wine they will be drinking. Plus, for wine lovers like me, I’d like to be able to talk more sophisticated about wine, these videos would allow me to do that. Continuing on with your video, then mention some dishes that would pair well with this wine. They can be food that you offer or other meals as well. If you want to takes this seriously, you can explain the region the grapes come from and how it’s produced. Finally, to close the video, pour the remaining wine on yourself. No, I’m totally kidding, but that would be hilarious and your videos would probably go viral. Always an option. Like I said, this is a creative marketing podcast, sometimes you need to take things to the next level. If you’re not about pouring wine on your head, you still do need to find a unique way to end each video. I’d recommend taking the rest of the wine and walking your viewers through a small recipe that they could use the wine for. Maybe that’s a type of mixed drink. Perhaps it’s a specific dish. Just pack your video full of value and people will watch it in droves. Don’t worry about making it super high quality. Just start with your smartphone. I still think pouring wine on yourself would be legendary. Alright, I’m over it. 

Our next creative marketing concept is an interesting one. It might not be plausible right away, but it’s pretty cool if you ask me. Wine tasting is a huge aspect for any shop that sells wine. It’s a fun experience for customers that want to get acquainted with new flavors. It’s also a great thing to advertise to get non-traditional wine drinkers swinging by. One quick thing, I used to run a dating company and wine tasting is a great date, just putting that out there.

Sweet, you want to advertise your wine tasting experience, but how do you do that? Stay with me, this is going to get a bit unconventional. You know those soy sauce packets that you get at every Chinese restaurant? I want you to do the same thing, but for wine. Get little packets and have them filled with wine! It’s basically a little sample that can be easily transported and is a different way to get people engaging with wine tasting. It’s either this or filling a straw and taping off the ends. But in all seriousness, this has some interesting potential. One, because you can use it as free samples to get people interested in wine. Who wouldn’t be curious about wine shoved in one of these little packets? However, I’m not sure about the legality of giving out free alcohol so you’ll need to look into that one. Two, these could potentially be a product you sell. Maybe you market them as “a confidence boost in a bag” or “nerve calming packets”. Regardless, they could be something that people use more frequently than simply during a meal or when they visit you. I’d like to have a few of those packets right now!

I’m feeling good about this episode, we’ve been getting really creative so far!

Okay, last one. This is going to be another revenue stream and a marketing tactic. Sounds pretty sweet, right? Find a mini portable fountain. Something you can plug in, fill with water, and have it flow. Except you’re going to fill it with wine of course. The idea is to have this wine fountain available for events. People can rent it from you, then you can either run the station or simply handle set up and tear down. Up to you. But people will get a glass and fill it up from your wine fountain. Kind of like a fondu station but yours will be better because it’s wine. Coming from Walsh University, I’ve helped host a number of business events where this would have been an amazing addition. You’re in a great location because there are tons of schools and businesses in your area that would totally rent your wine fountain for events. Not only will you have revenue coming from people that rent your wine fountain, but it’s also an awesome marketing tactic. You can set up a sign advertising Grapes in a Glass. You can have business cards available. You can even have an employee there to run the station and talk a bit about the wine. Make it an experience! I think this could be really cool, just saying.

Grapes in a Glass

Boom. Grapes in a Glass now has some creative marketing ideas that won’t break the bank and will more customers stopping by to try some delicious wine! And they’re going to have to buy multiple wine fountains because I already know this is going to be a hit. If you want to grab a glass of crisp wine, first call me and let me know when, and then head to Grapes in a Glass. You can find all their information at That’s the number 50. 

Well, that’s all folks. Thanks for joining me on this episode of Creativity Killed the Cat! I hope you had as much fun as I did and were able to take away some creative marketing ideas that YOU can start using right now.

If you’re still stuck and need a little extra creative juice, head over to to find some more content that will continue to get your creative gears turning. Plus, you can reach out and let me know if you want your business or brand as the theme for one of our future episodes.

Keep saving those cats. I’ll see you all on the next episode of Creativity Killed the Cat. In the meantime, drop me a comment on this episode or on our Facebook Page with the team you’re supporting for this World Cup.