Last year we proposed a radical idea to our client, , a stylish Italian wine brand – to make cocktails with its wines. The concept was an evolution of an idea that our team at DeVries developed in 2005 called the Ecco-tini. It was a simple and stylish way to drink Ecco Domani’s award-winning Pinot Grigio in a martini glass with skewered white grapes. Viewed as a new twist on how to enjoy white wine, the drink garnered media coverage and was a hit at Ecco Domani events.
To take the Ecco-tini to the next level, we asked ourselves, why not make REAL cocktails with Ecco Domani wines? Wines have never truly been part of the ongoing cocktail craze in America. Yes, wines have been mixed with other ingredients to make sangria or a spritzer, but not true cocktail concoctions. Since this had never been done before, we felt it was the perfect opportunity for Ecco Domani…and thus Winetails were born!
The first step to making high-quality cocktails with Ecco Domani wines was teaming up with an expert mixologist who understood complex flavors and wines/spirits. A mixologoist is part chef, part artist, part scientist, — it’s a unique craft that only recently has been generating more attention in mainstream media.
Our mixologist of choice had traveled all over the world, learned from the best in the industry and created cocktail lists for revered restaurants and bars around the globe. His name is Alex Ott. Not only does he know how to invent mouth-watering drinks, he’s also hip, “in-the-know” and cute, which never hurts!
Alex created the first-ever signature drinks for Ecco Domani – the Dolce Domani, a sweet and tart drink with Ecco Domani’s Merlot; the Ecco Freddo, a refreshing summer drink with Pinot Grigio, watermelon, and pineapple juice, and finally, the Ecco Sidro, a spicy twist on apple cider with Chianti. We named all the drinks ourselves, tying them back to Ecco Domani’s Italian roots.
Rather than focusing on wine writers, we decided to hone in on food and lifestyle editors. We were right on target, the media embraced the concept with open arms; we received coverage in top papers such as the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Miami Herald, The Record, Chicago Sun-Times, and broadcast media like Food Talk radio and CW 11 New York, which dedicated an entire segment to Ecco Domani winetails and feature coverage in Brides and Sante online. The media loved the concept and so did consumers at a Fashion Week bash in February hosted by the Ecco Domani Fashion Foundation.
Parlaying last year’s success we introduced a booklet of delectable, high-quality Winetail recipes, two drinks for every season. The recipe booklets are available free online at www.eccodomani.com . To promote the booklets, we’ve been hosting what we call “Winetails Wednesdays.” These are essentially desksides with our mixologist, Alex Ott, but rather than one-on-one appointments, we treat the entire staff at top magazines to a chic ‘winetails hour’ courtesy of Ecco Domani. They are a complete ‘winetails’ experience in 3-D with Alex Ott educating audiences, tasty drinks in tow, and music playing off our iPods.
This has been a winning strategy for our team –once editors taste the drinks, they’re sold. To date we’ve visited Nylon, Blackbook, Niche Media (Gotham, Hamptons), Redbook, Woman’s Day and People. We’ve also reached editors at outlets in Chicago and Dallas via a media tour – all of whom have become great fans of our Winetails! We’re securing unreal media coverage with recipes, bottle shots and photos of Alex in publications such as the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette with a half-page feature, the Altanta Journal Constitution, Star Tribune, Daily Herald, El Diario, Chef, Hamptons, BrandWeek, a second segment on CW11 New York, a local Dallas CBS segment, a full-page story in Today’s Chicago Woman, The Plano Insider (double features), Zink magazine…and it keeps on coming! Not just the quantity but the quality of coverage is astounding…dare I call this a phenomenon? Ok, this is coming from someone who is obsessed with Ecco Domani winetails…I just can’t get enough. When I learn that people are making these drinks at home and that it’s not just a concept that lives in the realm of our PR materials, it’s incredibly validating and rewarding.
Ecco Domani’s winetails has been met with such great success because of the support of a client that is open-minded and willing to try a different approach. Through this program we’ve not only convinced wine lovers to mix wines with other ingredients to make winetails, but we’ve also tapped into a new audience of consumers, the cocktail drinker!
Try this Ecco Domani winetail recipe at home, it’s one of my favorites and featured under the fall section of the booklet. Serve the Ecco Cioccolato instead of dessert at your next soiree…your guests will thank you for it!
- Muddle 6 raspberries with 1 teaspoon of sugar
- Add 2.5 oz. of Ecco Domani Chianti
- Pour into a shaker and shake vigorously
- Strain into a martini glass
- Layer whipped cream onto drink
- Garnish with chocolate shavings