Since Thanksgiving is only a day away and the holidays are just around the corner, my mind is filled with all things food and wine, how about you? What to eat? What to drink? What pairs well with what? You get the picture. So I was delighted to have the opportunity to interview a fabulous woman who is definitely an influencer on the wine landscape, Jessica Kogan-Hughes, wife of the well-known Cameron Hughes, owner of Cameron Hughes Wine. I will tell you more about this fab woman later, but first, I want to tell you a little bit about this impressive wine brand, then I’ll share my fun interview with Jessica and then to top it all off, I am delighted to host a fabulous Cameron Hughes sponsored giveaway to start the holiday season off right!
What is Cameron Hughes Wine all about and How is it different than other brands?
Cameron Hughes Wine is a modern international négociant, the company partners with high-end wineries to create wine they love or they buy ultra-premium wines to sell at affordable prices. CH Wine produces 100 different wines a year in varying lot sizes, so when the wine sells out, there will never be another like it. The company doesn’t own a vineyard or winery, which is how they can pass on the savings to customers. Under the Cameron Hughes Wine label, you could purchase a $75 bottle of wine for $20, so in other words, CH Wine provides luxury wine for a steep discount.
An Interview with Jessica Kogan-Hughes, Head of Marketing for CH Wine
I am dying to know about your background in fashion PR, digital marketing and how you brought that experience to the table with Cameron Hughes Wine?
Ok – so here is the deal. My first job out of college was with Donna Karan. Amazing company to work with and gain experience at my then young age. There I learned about the industry, marketing, product positioning, licensing, you name it. To this day, even though I am technically in the wine business, I read my WWD each morning. The fashion industry to me is the pulse of the economy – it is the psychological reflection of how we feel about our lives, our world, our everything.
After Donna and few other jobs I worked with a company called Razorfish where I learned all about Website development. When I left NYC and moved to SF I was still with Razorfish. Cam and I were dating. He had a background in the wine business. I was not loving my job out in SF. Very different than NYC. So, I asked the company to lay me off! It was 2001 and this was the norm. At that point, Cam and I decided to start this wine company together. He has the sales knowledge and I had the marketing knowledge. We both felt we really had nothing to lose.
Besides sleeping with the boss, tell us about your role at CHW? What exactly do you do?
I am sure the boss would say we don’t sleep together enough! Cam buys and negotiates to make the wines and my job is to make sure everyone knows about them. Essentially, what I do at the company is oversee and help execute all of our integrated marketing. So what does that mean? It means I spread the word in many different media channels. What is the word about the company? We are all about gorgeous wine and incredible value.
What is your all time favorite type of wine to drink? Why?
Hmm..that is a good question. I find the longer I am in the business, like clothing style, your taste evolves. Right now, I am really in to crisp Rieslings. I like my wine to have a hint of sweetness. As for red, I am a Cabernet girl all the way. I just love the richness of this grape and how many ways it can be produced. For me it is like my favorite fabric transformed in to many different looks. I just love it – big, mellow, soft or intense.
What are a few of the top wine trends we will be seeing this holiday season?
Moscato – HUGE! The grape is back with a vengeance. It is sweet, bubbly, low in alcohol and goes with absolutely everything, especially a dry turkey. Riesling is hot, and Malbec continues to be an all- around, pleasing varietal women love, as most are not over-oaked or over-styled.
Can you give us 3 easy tips for selecting wine this holiday season?
Ok – this is definitely where everyone, including me even in the industry, has a moment of total anxiety and overwhelmedness when you have a 1,000 different bottles of wine to pick from. Here are the basics to get you through this anxious moment:
1) Only buy German, Austrian or Washington state Rieslings and for Moscato only from Italy
2) For reds, when in doubt buy vintages 2007 or 2009 and appellations Napa Valley, Sonoma, or Carneros from California. The wine will be fabulous!
3) Do not spend more than $20 unless you have done the appropriate research
Which wines will you be serving for Thanskgiving dinner?
I will be serving Cameron Hughes Wine, of course!
-Lot 256, 2010 Napa Valley Rose – with hors d’oeuvres
-Lot 259, 2010 Columbia Valley Riesling/Chenin Blanc – with turkey
-Lot 303, 09 Stags Leap Cabernet – with turkey
-Antolino Brongo 09 Cryomalus Ice Cider – with desert – pecan pie of course!
So, honestly, my gifts are all our wine. And this year, the first year ever we have put together a wine & chocolate gift pack in a gift box with a gift card for $75 total with shipping.
Cameron Hughes Wine is available at local retail locations like Costco, Sam’s Club, Cost Plus World Markets, Kroger, Harris Teeter, Safeway, Vons and online at www.chwine.com
-How to Enter: All that you need to do to enter this FREE giveaway is use the Rafflecopter Widget Below and click “I DID THIS” in the various boxes below for each way you choose to enter
-Options for Entering: There are (2) choices for daily entries, and (6) choices for one-time only entries and three of them are mandatory for entry.
-Prizes: Two people will each win: One (1) $50 Gift Certificate for CHwine.com & One (1) Hand built CH corkscrew from Laguiole (Retail value of each prize set: $85)
-Contest Dates: 11/23/11 to 12/03/11 at 12:01 am EST
-Please make sure to click on the ”CLICK HERE” to do each task and once you have completed the task on the “I DID THIS” button to confirm your entry. Make sure to enter your name and email for each selection, so your entries will be counted. Good Luck!