Archive for Moore brothers

INTERNET WINE MARKETING – THREE UNIQUE STYLES AND WHY ONE WORKS FOR ME

Posted in Info on Wine, Wine Marketing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 8, 2010 by ballymote

Being the devoted oenophile that I am, it’s only natural that I receive e-mails from several different wine merchants all vying for my limited wine dollar budget. In this post I am going to examine the tactics used by three of these marketing mavens and explain why one is my clear favorite. The three wine stores approaches that will be outlined here are: HOPS  N GRAPES, GLASSBORO, NJ, MOORE BROTHERS, PENNSAUKEN, NJ, and THE WINE LIBRARY in SPRINGFIELD, NJ. All three of these stores use a different internet approach to selling wine.

HOPS N GRAPES sends a daily e-mail featuring one wine for the day. You must print out the coupon and present it in store or you can order online for in-store pick-up. Limit on their offers is 12 bottles. There are no further discounts on case purchases. My problem with this marketing strategy is in several areas. First, the wine offered is seldom of much interest to me as I would say maybe 1 in every 20 catches my eye. For instance, Friday’s offering was the 2008 Two Hands, Brilliant Disguise, Moscato, Barossa Valley, Australia. Now Two Hands makes some pretty decent juice in a number of grape varietals but a Moscato is a “bubbly” or dessert=type wine and I very seldom drink them. Secondly, it sells normally for $15.99 and their offer price is $13.98. Virtually all of their offers are for 10 to 15% off and you would expect that type of discount on any case purchase anyway so, all in all, it’s not something that is ever going to appeal to me. Additionally, there were times in the beginning when I would receive the e-mail for that day’s offering late in the evening with no time to get there had I been interested. This problem appears to now be corrected. In fairness, I have been in the store and spoke to employees who were busy filling orders on these daily specials so what do I know?

Gary Vaynerchuk runs a mega-wine operation in North Jersey called The Wine Library. His Wine Library TV has become an internet institution and his online tastings have brought him much fame and great wealth. There is little debate among his fans and critics alike that he has in the past few years displayed the talents of a marketing genius. Let me just say in reference to the internet marketing strategy employed by the folks at The Wine Library, if you are a shut-in who wished they had more e-mails to read on a daily basis, do yourself a favor and subscribe to the internet mailing list for the Wine Library. You will find yourself busy most of the day just trying to keep up with the latest, “spectacular” “better hurry while supplies last”, “you won’t believe what we are offering next” sales pitch. Again, are some of them real values? Yes they are, but the sheer volume and absurdity of their approach with three, four and five “unbelievable deals” a day just wears one out after a while. Having made a couple of 90 minute trips up to their Springfield, NJ location I am actually underwhelmed by their selection. There are a lot of choices, there are a few “hard to find” wines, on occasion, but the vast majority, in my opinion are of the not so well-known variety which leads me to believe that because the buy in such huge volume they work out “special deals” with the wineries or distributors and then market these wines as “unusual savings opportunities.” Again, they are a tremendously successful operation but although I like and admire Gary V, I seldom “bite” on the many opportunities to buy.

The third example I have chosen for this marketing comparison is Moore Brothers in Pennsauken, NJ. This unique wine selling operation has two other locations in Delaware and New York City. They sell wines from small growers (primarily) in France, Italy and Germany. Their stores are maintained at 56 degrees and they go to great lengths to see that the wines they sell are shipped and stored at the proper temperatures. They sell only wine so you have to venture elsewhere for your beer or spirits. Moore Brothers does not deluge your server with daily offers. They send an e-mail approximately once every ten days and that in itself adds a sense of importance to each one.  One of the last ones was simply titled……”a five hour dinner with Xavier Vignon” . There followed a short narrative on Greg Moore’s recent trip to the south of France, his dinner with the wine-maker and closed with this offer “

Wines like this terrific $14 blend of ripe Syrah, old-vines bush-trained Grenache, and mineral rich Mourvèdre have generated some of the most enthusiastic feedback we ever receive.

And this one could be, dollar for dollar, the wine of the vintage. Everything you expect is here: exotic black fruit, lavender and graphite, fresh white tobacco and herbes de Provence. And then there is the secret to all of Xavier Vignon’s wines: the perfect, mouthfilling seasoning of saline minerality that comes from deeply rooted old vines.

This morning there are twenty-eight cases at Moore Brothers New Jersey.

$14 per bottle on paid orders received before July 27. *
*
Regular price $16 per bottle. No further case discounts apply in this offer.

 
    

Ventoux Xavier Vignon 2007 (reg. $16.00)    $14.00  buy now
 

I bought a few. This is the type of approach that appeals to me and I discovered a great, inexpensive Cote du Ventoux wine that works exceptionally well with food. It’s more of a soft sell, the urgency is there but it almost feels like “if it sounds good, it’s here for you”. They tell you how many they have and you can decide for yourself how soon you should get there.

So there you have it. Three different approaches to selling wine on the internet. For all I know, each has been very successful for the individual operations. I just wanted to let you know the approach that works best for me. There are scores of totally different approaches. I subscribe to many of them and would have placed orders with several had it been easier to arrange wine shipments to New Jersey (that’s a story for another time)Remember, as with any opinion, your mileage may vary!

ANTHONY’S – BYOB

Posted in Anthony's Restaurant, BYOB Restaurant Reviews, Info on Wine, South Jersey BYOB Reviews, Wine Dinners with tags , , , , , , , , , , on November 15, 2009 by ballymote

 IMG_3654Another rainy Saturday night and another very good dining experience. I had made reservations for 6 at Anthony’s in Haddon Heights, NJ at 8:00 P.M. Late that afternoon, Jerry and Sue C. returned from their trip to Ireland, and what with Ireland not being the culinary capital of Europe, they were in the mood for a great meal so they decided to join us. Anthony’s was kind enough to add two more seats and after a short wait in the lobby, where our group paged through the latest copy of Hitzel’s Restaurant Magazine, we were guided to their upstairs dining room where we had an entire room to ourselves. Wines were opened and poured and Jerry showed pictures from his trip on his Ipod Touch while we scanned the menu and caught up on the latest news. Our server brought baskets of warm bread, butter, a dish of oil, and two plates of roasted veggies which we enjoyed while considering our selections. My wine for the evening was a Malbec from Patagonia, an area in the far south of Argentina, where the temperatures are far cooler.IMG_3655 There is an interesting story behind this wine. I had received an e-mail from Moore Brothers in Pennsauken about ten days ago. They were singing the praises of this particular wine Patagonia Malbec Barrel Selection Fabre Montmayou 2007. 

Their write-up on the wine made it tempting enough for me to decide to take a ride up to their store and grab a couple of bottles. Coincidently, the very next day I was at Monster Beverage in Glassboro and their it was, the very same wine for just 50 cents more than the price at Moore Brothers. It even had the familiar “Fleet Street Shipped at 56 degrees” which I thought was sort of a Moore Brothers trademark. Anyway, I was, and continue to be, puzzled as to how this wine which I thought was exclusive to Moore Bros. ended up on the shelves of Monster Beverage.  The wine, however, was worthy of all the praise. At $13.00 this is an excellent QPR delivering tons of flavor. I am making a note to try and get back to Monster for a couple more bottles before it is gone so, if you are reading this, pay no attention and please, stay away from Monster Beverage for the next few days. Thank You.

Meanwhile, back at Anthony’s, in between spoonfuls of a delicious crab bisque, I am outlining plans for a trip next year to Napa Valley. Everyone seems interested and I am looking forward to it like a muslim would to a pilgrimage to Mecca. Now the entrees are arriving and I have taken my friend, Tom T.’s advice and ordered the selection which bears his name, the Crab Tomasso.IMG_3659 It turned out to be an excellent recommendation as the dish was first class. It featured jumbo lump crabmeat sauteed with basil and garlic, fresh tomatoes and tossed capellinni in a blush sauce. The portion was large enough that I thought I might be taking some home but I kept going and before long my dish was clean. I guess I could have taken the purple orchid home but I wasn’t sure what kind of wine went with orchids so I left it on the plate.

Some of the other selections that my dining partners chose were:IMG_3660IMG_3662IMG_3661 from left to right,  Jerry’s veal chop served over risotto which he referred to as a cheesesteak risotto. He offered me a taste and it really was good. Joe B. and my wife, Kathy both had one of the seafood specials of the evening, the baked grouper. I heard no complaints from either one of them. Sue C. had the lamb, pine nut-crusted in a thyme and  port reduction sauce with Yukon mash potatoes. The final entree was Barbara T.’s IMG_3663Wild Mushroom Ravioli. She said the sauce was wonderful and despite the fact that I am an avid mushroom avoider, I sampled hers and have to confess that it was very good. As with the other there was nothing but the flower left on her plate and as we continued the conversation we ordered a couple of desserts to pass around. There was a round chocolate cake that was delicious and others shared a warm apple cinammon concoction with blackberry sorbet. Just before the check was presented, our waiter surprised us withIMG_3664 a home-made concoction he refered to as Chococello, a very unique imitation of the lemoncello that so many local Italian restaurants serve as a perfect ending to the meal. This chococello was a big hit and although we all would have liked to have more, it isn’t available in any stores that we know of as it is simply a drink made and bottled by the owner.

Anthony’s bills itself as “creative Italian cuisine” and our dinner certainly lived up to its billing. I’m certain there will be future visits scheduled for this restaurant. All of us were pleased with the entire dining experience.

SHOPPING FOR WINE: MY FIVE FAVORITE SOUTH JERSEY WINE STORES

Posted in Shopping for Wine with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 29, 2009 by ballymote

A Canal’s by any other name is not necessarily a Canal’s. There are not many places in South Jersey where people live that you wouldn’t find a Canal’s within five or six miles. The problem is all Canal’s are not created equal. You might even say that no two Canal’s are alike when it comes to wine. Some have excellent selections with knowledgeable help and others have a very boring selection with staff who are lacking in wine savvy. Despite the disparity, I am certain that the many outlets doing business under the names Canal’s Discount Liquor Outlets and Joe Canal’s do the majority of the wine business in South Jersey. Two of those locations make my Top Five South Jersey Wine Shops. Here are my 5 Favorites and 2 that receive Honorable Mention. One caveat before I announce my choices. There are some locations that I am just not familiar with for one reason or another and it is entirely possible that I am excluding some very good places. All of these stores are simply my own personal opinion.

#5 Total Wine and Spirits, Cherry Hill, NJblog pics 006

Total is a national mega wine super-store with over 8000 wine selections in each location.  Founded in 1991 by brothers, David and Robert Trone,  Total has grown each year and now have multiple locations in 8 states. There are several things I like about shopping at Total Wines. Their staff is very knowledgeable and often are taken on trips to various wine regions of the world where they get to sample lots of different wines. Each store contains selections that are titled “staff favorites” and although there is freedom to shop on your own there is also a staff member nearby to offer advice. Additionally, they have on hand in each store the Total Guide to Wine which has over 450 pages of information on wines and wine regions. Admittedly, this big, glossy guide becomes an advertisement for the particular wines  that are stocked at Total but, hey, it’s free, it’s informative and you can’t blame them for pushing their own brands. That brings us to my one major complaint about Total Wines; they really DO push their own brands. Even though there are over 8000 different wines there are a lot of popular, good wines from all regions that are not on the shelves at Total. The average buyer will have no trouble finding something of interest and you can totally trust the staff selections. A true “wine geek” could spend hours strolling the aisles of this, my #5 favorite wine shop.

#4 Moore Brothers, Pennsauken, NJblog pics 005

The directions to Moore Brothers posted on their web site has a caveat that says “your GPS will NOT find us”.  They are located just off Route 130 North on Cooper River Park Drive and they are worth finding.

Years ago, when my love of wine was in it’s infancy and I was reading all I could and visiting wine stores to peruse the shelves I had reached a point where I felt I was familiar with the names of 90% of the worlds wines, even if I hadn’t tasted a large percentage of them. Every once in awhile in my reading or in conversations with others I would hear the name “Moore Brothers”. One day I came across a list of the wines they carry in their store. Unlike Total Wines and their 8000 choices, Moore Brothers only carried a couple hundred and very few were from California. None were from my then favorite region, Australia. I was perplexed. Reading thru the list I don’t think there were 3 names of wineries that I was familiar with at the time. I thought to myself, why even bother checking this place out when I don’t have the time to try the thousands of wines I am already familiar with but have not yet tasted and, why would a wine store decide to carry brands that no one has heard of?

Founded by David and Greg Moore, Moore Brothers now has two other locations outside of NJ. These are located in Delaware and New York City. Their philosophy on wine explains their selections. They stock only wine from small growers primarily in France, Italy and Germany. They develop relationships with the growers, visit their farms, almost become a part of their families. They have a tremendous respect for the grapes and the people who grow them. All of their wines are shipped at 56 degrees and the store temperature is kept at 56 degrees. You will see the staff wearing jackets on the warmest of summer days. The staff is totally knowledgeable on all of the wines they carry and are extremely helpful. They are even apprehensive about you driving home with a case of wine on a hot, August day. They caution you to go straight home and get the wine back to 56 degrees as quickly as possible. It’s like you are taking one of their children on a journey and they fear for their safety. I have never been disappointed by a purchase at Moore Brothers and you should definitely make a visit to the Pennsauken location. Their website is fun and informative, too. Moore Brothers are my #4 favorite wine shop.

#3 Joe Canal’s Liquor Outlet, Fire Road, Egg Harbor Twp., NJblog pics 009

 

 

 

 

If I never worked in Atlantic City I would have missed the opportunity of having discovered this excellent wine store. It’s a good distance from my home in Washington Twp., NJ but not far off the Black Horse Pike in Egg Harbor Township. It made my list of favorites because it has a wonderful selection of wines from every region. The prices are about the same as others perhaps a little higher as some shore liquor outlets tend to do. The other nice thing about this Joe Canal’s is they have one of the best Pinot Noir selections I have found. They also feature some better high end cabs, lots of Spanish wines and a nice selection of Australian bottles. The shelfs are a little tight and crowded but they cram a lot of interesting wines into the space they have. It’s easy to spend hours strolling the aisles of this location on Fire Road in Egg Harbor Township. It may even be that this was where I first discovered the 2001 Shirvington Shiraz which is still the best bottle of wine I have ever experienced. Those are just some of the reasons that this is my #3 favorite wine store in South Jersey.

#2 Hops n Grapes, Glassboro, NJblog pics 014

 

 

 

 

Hops n Grapes is the “new kid on the block” when it comes to South Jersey wine stores. In less than two years this Glassboro location has become my “go to” store for most purchases. It took only a visit or two to put it’s two closest wine neighbors, Canal’s in Williamstown and Monster Beverage in Glassboro far behind them.

Max and Filipe Cammorata, owners of Terra Nova Restaurant in Glassboro and several Landmark Americana Tap and Grills located  just off the Rowan University campus, West Chester, and coming soon to the Drexel campus in Philly have done a great job in quickly making Hops n Grapes a wonderful location for buying wine. The shop features a coffee bar with fresh pastries, an excellent selection of cheeses from all over the globe and a fine selection of premium cigars. They feature wine tastings with cheese samplings every Friday evening and the store is stocked with over 2000 selections; many of them wines you won’t find in most stores. Their premium wine case is an absolute treasure with everything from the extremely hard to find Sine Que Non wines to $1000 Burgundies. Wine “geeks” such as myself have been known to salivate on the glass while gawking at these prize wines.

The staff is extremely knowledgeable and helpful and for those on a limited wine budget they even have a section with quite a few wines titled, “GOOD WINES UNDER $10.00″. Max and Filipe do a Youtube video each week on their “FIFTEEN WINES of SUMMER”. They may not yet be ready to take their comedy show on the road but I am not going to deduct any points for that.

I will deduct a few points for their “wine loft” on the second floor. It was scheduled to be an area for single vineyard and exclusive wines but it just hasn’t panned out and many of the wines up there are simply repeats of those on the main floor. I am being picky though in this minor criticism. There is much to like about Hops and Grapes and “frequent wine buyers” earn a 2% credit toward future purchases. Overall, it’s a no-brainer in making Hops n Grapes my #2 favorite wine shop in South Jersey.

and now……. a drumroll please as I announce my choice for…the best wine store in South Jersey

#1 CANAL’S BOTTLESTOP, MARLTON, NJBlog pics 022

 

 

My selection of Canal’s Bottlestop in Marlton, NJ as my favorite South Jersey wine store can be summed up in three reasons:

  1. Charley Beatty
  2. Charley Beatty
  3. Charley Beatty

Charlie has packed the shelves of this store with perhaps the finest selection of California wines in all of South Jersey. He has developed relationships with distributors that enable him to get wines that others will never see. He has tasted almost every wine he sells and when he steers you toward a particular selection you can be assured it’s a wine you will enjoy. The prices are consistent with other stores in the area but he offers some excellent discounts for large purchases and publishes a monthly newsletter that has over 300 sale items from all wine regions.

It’s not unusual to be in the store and see 5 or 6 people all waiting to speak to Charley. It’s a minor miracle that he is able to take care of everyone when he is constantly in such demand. It’s the place I go for those special wines and that special wine wisdom that Charlie Beatty is blessed with. He is the reason that Canal’s Bottlestop, Marlton, NJ is my #1 Favorite Wine Store in South Jersey.

In closing I want to give honorable mention to two other wine stores. They are:

Circle Liquors, Somers Point, NJ for fine selection and a knowledgeable staff and some nice prices for their Circle Club members       and…..

Canals Discount Liquors, Hainesport, NJ this one is a little too far from my house but they have a good selection of all wines and perhaps the absolute best selection of German wines this side of Munich!

 

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