Wineries Need to Get Creative to Attract Readers to Their Newsletters

Every day, we all get requests to join a winery newsletter list. Sometimes this happens at the tasting room, sometimes at regional or varietal wine tasting events, and sometimes friends send a “you must join this list!” e-mail. But there’s got to be a reason beyond good will for a consumer to agree to have yet another message delivered to the in-box. Here’s one creative idea that worked, from Charles Creek Winery, Graton, CA.

Their Tecolote Times newsletter often has recipes, suggestions for wine pairings, notes about upcoming seminars and other things that go beyond merely trying to sell more wine. Those are reasons enough to like a newsletter, but then they added a compelling item: a cartoon caption contest. Who isn’t addicted to cartoons?

Readers are urged to “put on your (funny) thinking caps for this months’ Cartoon Caption (or word balloon). Send your witty verbiage to with “CCV CCC” in the subject line. Remember, the winner will receive a pair of seriously tasty Charles Creek wines as their reward. With that in mind, don’t forget to vote for the winning entry from last months ‘toon-test...”

So I did put on my funny thinking cap, and Guess What! I had two seriously tasty Charles Creek wines delivered to my door.


Nice glass for a nose bath, but where do I put the wine?

The red wine was an En Casa Merlot, Carneros, Sonoma County, 2004. I found the aroma and taste of plum, a very juicy wine, with soft tannins and light pepper on the back palate. It paired wonderfully with the New York strip steak that my married son Matthew grilled up for Sunday dinner with his family. Yet to be opened is the Las Patolitas Chardonnay, Sonoma County 2006.

If you’d like to participate in the contest – it is fun! –you’ll have to sign up for email communications at their site at And the newsletters are archived (click here) so when you win, you can just forward the fun on to your friends. What a good idea!

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