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Crimson Wine’s Gratuitously Self-Congratulatory, Over-Stated News Release

Pitifully bad news releases abound.

Journalists usually swap them among themselves. Usually we just privately laugh … and regret that there are so many PR people who have no concept of what actual news is, who stack unsupported superlatives one on top of the other like wedding cakes with too many tiers and way too much icing to hide the fact that that substance is minimal. See Internet Boasting Doesn’t Equal Quality for a previous perspective.

At a minimum, they make your company into a joke. At worst, they taint your brand as an amateur braggart.

Crimson wine issued such a press release today with enough caked-on icing to produce a journalistic diabetic sugar coma.


The release, as written, is below. This could be a case study in how NOT to write a news release. Some prominent (but by no means all) low spots:

  • This wine is not “highly anticipated.” Today’s new iPhone is.
  • These are good, respectable vineyards, not “iconic,” or “preeminent.”
  • The appellations named (deep down in the release) are respectable. Hardly “reknowned.”
  • “Truly unique, “completely different,” “new concept for the red wine category.” You have to dig to find out that the distinguishing characteristic is that grapes come from two states.
  • “Unique blend that only Crimson Wine Group can create from its preeminent estate holdings.” Gagging with meaninglessness.
  • “A modern interpretation of a new-world estate wine” It’s an interesting blend, folks.
  • “Disrupts the concept of estate wines,” Oh PUH-pleese!

There is much more to mock in this release.

See Amateur, Arrogant, Wandering News Release Of The Day for another example and another editor’s suffering.


Good PR is good journalism from the client’s standpoint.

I’ve been on both sides of this issue: I’ve worked every level of journalism from local courts to covering the White House and Congress and taught journalism at Cornell and UCLA. I’ve been a managing director for one of the world’s largest PR firms (MS&L) and run  my own Silicon Valley  tech marketing/PR firm.

And regardless of which side you work for, the way you communicate shapes the way people view you whether that’s a media outlet or a client.





Crimson Wine Group Launches Luminary

National Release Introduces Highly-Anticipated Wine

Born From Estate Vineyards in Renowned American Wine Appellations

/ PR Newswire / — Crimson Wine Group (CWG), today announced the national release of Luminary, the first American wine to cross state lines and blend fruit from four iconic properties in four renowned wine regions through a collaborative effort to create a truly unique wine. The first American wine of its kind, Luminary is an extension of the driving philosophy of the Crimson Wine Group and showcases the preeminent appellations and estate vineyard sites of each region with a dedication to handcrafted quality and the highest respect for the land. A bold new concept for the red wine category, Luminary represents a unique blend that only Crimson Wine Group can create from its preeminent estate holdings.

“Luminary disrupts the concept of estate wines by bringing together fruit from the foremost vineyard sites in California and Washington,” said Erle Martin, president and CEO of Crimson Wine Group. “Our goal was to embody the pioneering American spirit with a wine concept that is completely different. The end result is a product that boldly redefines American wines.”

A modern interpretation of a new-world estate wine, Luminary is anchored by classic Bordeaux varietals, accented by other varietals, to create a serious, structured wine with extraordinary depth. This unconventional blend includes: Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot from Pine Ridge Vineyards in Napa Valley, Calif., Syrah from Double Canyon in Horse Heaven Hills, Wash., Syrah from Chamisal Vineyards in Edna Valley, Calif. and Zinfandel from Seghesio Family Vineyards in Alexander Valley, Calif.

“Luminary is blended to showcase the regions that offer the best representation of their respective varietals,” said Michael Beaulac, winemaker for Pine Ridge Vineyards, who created this wine through a unique collaboration with Jason Ledbetter of Double Canyon, Fintan du Fresne of Chamisal Vineyards and Ted Seghesio of Seghesio Family Vineyards. “Bottled alone, wines from each of these appellations offer impeccable character; blended together, they become a whole new work of art.”

Debuting with the 2012 vintage, Luminary will be available at select retailers nationwide and also sold online at This wine has a suggested retail price of $45 per bottle. Only 2,300 cases were produced of the inaugural release.