As an experienced drinker and server of wines from many Old World and New World wineries, I have been asked by family and friends about my advocacy now for Texas wines. Having been a professional public relations practitioner and public school educator for almost 50 years, the answer for me is simple – PR x 4!
The base PR is PRoximity. Regardless of where you live in Texas (with maybe the exception of far West Texas), there are wineries and tasting rooms that can be traveled to for a Texas wine tasting experience. Numerous “passport trails” and festivals provide opportunities to taste multiple Texas wines at reduced costs and in safety-minded conditions. Wine club memberships offer entertaining “club pick-up parties” and provide opportunities for Texas wines to be delivered right to your door. Restaurant-hosted wine dinners are other events where Texas wines can be experienced and the people “behind the bottle” can be met.
The most important PR is Personal Relationships. Since the Texas wine industry is relatively young, many of the wineries and tasting rooms are staffed or frequented by the winegrowers, winemakers, and winery owners who are glad to spend time sharing their passion for the different varieties of grapes that are used to produce Texas wines. Not to be forgotten is the fact that most tasting rooms are staffed by knowledgeable individuals who really like the wines they serve and are, again, willing to answer questions about, and share their passion for Texas wines.
The third PR – Price Ratio – could be considered a negative by some unless time is taken to understand what goes into the cost for a multiple-sample tasting and/or a bottle of Texas wine. Like most wine drinkers, I gravitate toward the $15 and under wines that I can purchase at a grocery store or liquor store. But I have come to understand that the price is kept low at those locations because the wines are mass-produced and the store can spread its rent, purchase, stocking, and promotional costs for those wines across the hundreds of other products they offer to shoppers. Likewise, the land costs, vineyard planting and development costs, the equipment and bottling costs at the winery, and the packaging, promotional, service, stemware, technology, and labor costs of a tasting room are costs that Old World wineries have had centuries to absorb, and New World wineries have had multiple decades to absorb, while most Texas wineries have had only a single-digit decade or less to cover.
If you are reading this, you are already interested in Texas wine, and I congratulate you for that interest! But the next time you open a bottle of Texas wine, visit a Texas winery or tasting room, consider the PRs of PRoximity, Personal Relationships, and Price Ratio. Those considerations will help you experience the fourth PR – Pleasant Result!