by Greg Gottsacker
It's true the Midwest loves its beer...God knows I can feel all the consumed IPAs, Stouts, and session ales still working their way through my body as I wrap up 3 beer filled weekends in the beer-washed cities of Minneapolis, Milwaukee, and Chicago. Uff-da.
The development of new breweries in the Midwest (and everywhere for that matter) never ceases to amaze me and shows the innovation, passion, and creativity "pouring" out of our Midwestern and kaleidoscopic Germanic, Scandinavian and Irish roots. Like the West Coast tech valleys have their tech booms, so does there exist a beer boom.
Yet there is another boom going on in the wine world in Washington State. Washington (think Microsoft, Starbucks, and other herculean tech, social, and growth companies) is known for its innovative culture, and the Washington State Wineries have aligned with that reputation into growing into one of the most celebrated regions in the world!
March is Taste Washington Wine Month and here are a couple fun facts that I want you to learn about Washington wines. Don't let the Guinness and Basketball blind you--try some wine this month!
1. Washington Wine region and production really just got started about 30 years ago.
2. Washington is the 2nd largest producer in the United States behind California.
3. Washingon wine regions get more summer sunlight hours than California. (16 hours)
4. 51% white and 49% red wine production.
5. Main grapes produced are some of the "classics": Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Riesling, and Chardonnay.
6. The ground or "terroir" is probably the most unique in the world. With a combination of rain-forests, volcanoes, glacial lakes, and mountains...the rough soils and contrasting climates make this terroir...well wicked cool.
7. The dramatic cooling temperatures in September stop grapes from ripening naturally. This means we don't have to REMOVE alcohol or manipulate the wine. The result: intense, but pure fruit flavor.
Don't know what to drink? Here are some ideas:
Do you like Chablis/Chardonnay from Burgundy? Try Washington Chardonnay from Colombia Gorge and the Southwest region
Do you like Cabs from Napa? Try out some reds from Red Mountain from the Tri-Cities region.
Do you like Cab Francs from Loire Valley? Try out Yakima Valley. Does that sound familiar beer drinkers? Yakima makes some pretty good hops too!
Do you like Cotes du Rhone? Try out some Syrah from the Walla Walla region.
Of course don't forget to put that wine (or Irish Whiskey) in your favorite aerating stemware Helicium. The stemless make perfect whiskey glasses too! Enter "WASHINGTON" at heliciumglass.com as the coupon code to receive 25% off all glasses for the rest of March!
We learn how to change the culture of an organization and about Spain's famous Rioja region.
Plus a 2-for-1 February deal on some Helicium Glasses. Enter "halfoff" at heliciumglass.com for 50% off all Helicium Stemware through Feb. 28th!
Get a bottle of some caliente Rioja with a set of Helicium and starting living la vida with your "amor" this February.
by Greg Gottsacker
It’s almost 5am in Barcelona and we have our annual sales meeting kicking off in 3 hours. Vamos! Hit the showers and suit up!
I was in Barcelona last week for my company’s annual sales meeting which repeats itself annually (as title suggests) but also in so many other ways…
But this year there was a new theme: “Change the Culture of the Company”.
Excuse me? Change the what of the company wh-what? Such talk should not be thrown around so lightly after 45 salesmen have just crawled out of their bunks post-power siesta.
Organizational change is a nasty concoction of methodical work and indiscriminate human emotional reaction to those methods. It can leave a hangover worse than dozens of emptied bottles of Tempranillo and Venezuelan rum.
Cultural change in an organization, government or society is a tricky subject and an even trickier one to implement in a business.
Think of some major cultural changes in society and how they went down.
The French revolution required a decade of implementation, organization and ultimately a beheading of the monarch Louis XVI.
The cultural revolution of the 1960’s demanded a solid decade of straying from the standards and morals of the time through music, literature, film, and drug use in order to shake the pillars of governing elites...and even then we got the dirty results in the 70’s!
My 3 biggest take-aways about cultural change in an organization. (At least the 3 big ones I remember from my MBA years).
Shared values are the core of how a company works together and interprets how things will get done. That “workin’ as a team” and common value stuff will kill any trendy strategy some fancy suit tries to put into action.
Imagine breaking your back while dancing in Barcelona and you become paralyzed in a wheelchair. Tomorrow your friend says, “You have to walk on the beach with me--now.” Ummm…I am going to need about 15-20 years of therapy and maybe I’ll be able to take a couple steps. The culture of a company is very difficult to change, almost like teaching a paraplegic to walk again.
Management has to have a good story, a compelling argument and establish some urgency behind the change activities. Establish urgency of the need for change!
There is so much literature out there on change management and cultural change in organizations that we need to stop here and talk about what I really learned in Barcelona.
What I learned about Spain's most famous wine region, Rioja.
Rioja Grapes: Comprised primarily of Tempranillo, Garnacha Tinta (Grenache), Graziano, and Mazuelo (Carignan).
Tempranillo will most often be the backbone of these wines (60%), and if you enjoy a high tannin wine like a Cabernet Sauvignon yet desire the fruit bombs of a Grenache, this might be your "amor".
Here is a suggestion for you that you can find at Wholefoods. A Reserva from 2009 for $19.99.
Hell, with Helicium's immediate aeration technology it'll probably taste like a Gran Reserva....don't forget about the "halfoff" code for 50% off at heliciumglass.com
Turn off your monitors and look up at the sky! (Photo taken in Levi, Finland)
by Greg Gottsacker
Congratulations! It’s January 29th and you made it through the first month back at work after the holidays. How many resolutions are still standing?
Did you quit drinking? Smoking? Re-allocate and diversify your portfolio? Did you do 100 shitty push-ups and hump the floor? Give up Coffee? Walk the dog more? Wait, wait…did you stop procrastinating or are you putting that off until next year?
Achhhh….who am I to criticize? The Superbowl is on this weekend and I’d be hard pressed not to have a couple cold ones while watching the big game, forget about the litter box, and perhaps buy a couple overvalued stocks on-line.
My New Year’s Resolution is life changing and I have already seen and felt amazing results! No more screen time after 8pm. No more Pods/Pads/TVs, or phones before bed.
It’s simple. All those screens emit blue light which reduces melatonin levels. You need melatonin. It does a lot of stuff for you and controls your sleep cycles. Deprived sleep coupled with suppressed melatonin levels can lead to some serious health issues.
I had an amazing Christmas and New Year’s holiday time with family in Lapland, Finland and St. Petersburg, Russia. I read a lot and learned some cool stuff I’d like to share with you.
So I learned and saw a lot and am now sleeping better than ever before. Whatever your resolution is, I wish you all the best! I hope you can benefit from my list too.
Also I hope you did not give up coffee because it is my turn to treat you and give… it’s for my health and happiness of course.
I will buy you coffee this February. When you purchase Helicium Glass in February, I will send you an Egift card from Starbucks valued anywhere between $10-$25. It’s that simple and you don’t need a “code” at checkout. I will simply email you an Egift card upon purchase.
I wish you all the best and I thank you for your support.
Enjoy Helicium®. Drink. Wine. Better
Helicium created its own ALS Wine Bucket Challenge at Kohler Food & Wine Experience in October in Kohler, WI. No wine was spilled and donations went to ALS Wisconsin. The Challenge was a raffle with the prize being Helicium Glass. Read on to get your discount and Helicium will donate!
“If I see one more ALS ice bucket challenge video I think I’m gonna puke”.
If you didn’t say it, it probably crossed your mind. Admit it.
Don’t worry-- the Ice Bucket Challenge season is over until it gets hot again next summer, and we have since moved into a pink NFL October and mustache season for Movember.
Philanthropic awareness has come a long way from little red ribbons at the Oscar’s and Tour de “Lance” Livestrong bracelets.
You do this, I’ll give this. You wear this, and I’ll give this. It is essentially a contract between two parties to benefit a universal cause.
The visual symbolism of pink and November crust-aches is an easy formula to comprehend although perhaps slightly biased.
But what does a cold bucket of water have to do with a neurodegenerative disease that causes muscle atrophy?
What is the relationship between a bucket of water and ALS?
The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has meaning and historical significance and that is why Helicium engaged in an ALS WINE BUCKET CHALLENGE recently at the Kohler Food & Wine Experience.
Thankfully no wine was spilled and a generous donation was given to ALS Association Wisconsin Chapter.
Here are my 4 Reasons why an Ice Bucket Challenge has a connection to a Charitable Cause:
Perhaps my reasons are a stretch, but I don’t think we have to look very far to understand the pouring of water is both attention getting and symbolic to an element of human preservation.
The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge was a tremendous success for ALS, and Helicium would like to take the opportunity to continue our ALS Wine Bucket Challenge. So here is the contract…“One for me and one for my homies (at ALS WI)”.
Helicium will give you a 10% discount on your Helicium Glass at www.heliciumglass.com. Enter “ALS” as the coupon code at checkout.
Helicium will then match your discount of 10% of your net sale and donate directly to ALS Association Wisconsin Chapter.
Thank you so much if you have already participated! Please pass on the word so we can increase our donations to ALS Wisconsin.
Mr. AUSSTEIGEN himself and author Jaclyn Stuart present at the "Experience Provence" event for the French Connection Exchange Program group in Sheboygan, Wisconsin.
Helicium presents at French Connection in Wisconsin. Send your kids away to Europe!
by Greg Gottsacker
[NOTE: SEE BELOW FOR A FREE GIVEAWAY!]
“ALLE AUSSTEIGEN!” My dad yelled that German phrase at us kids a lot when we were growing up. It means “Everybody get out”.
I think a lot of dads say this phrase, but imagine the outright effect it has when said in German!
My childhood was littered with such snippets of German phrases and imperatives, mostly isolated without sentence structure (not very German), but always pertinent. Ja. (Very German)
Whatever the pidgin imperatives were, it certainly stuck in our household.
Three out the four kids “got out” of the house at age 16 and went to Germany for 6 months to live with a Deutsche Family near Stuttgart. If this was subliminal messaging via my Papa throughout the years, it worked.
BUT…not every child has the charming luck of a dad’s German expletives to inspire him to leave the country and discover the motherland.
This is why Helicium Glass has recently been involved with an exchange program in Wisconsin called “French Connection” which has been organizing trips for young students to Provence, France.
Being part of an exchange program is scary at age 16! It has been however, an endless gift to me and has shaped me into the person I am today. Helicium’s participation and donation hopes to encourage such activities and give some exposure to the results of program involvement!
I can’t put my finger on the exact element that changed me while I was there…legal drinking age 16, no curfew, open campus at high school, train rides to Berlin by myself, cigarette machines on the wall at school, ballroom dance lessons…..basically complete autonomy!
You get your driver’s license in the States at age 16—but are you really autonomous?
Now would I have done some of those “vices” like drink beer and wine at age 16 in the USA anyway? Absolutely. However, in Germany I was able to go to the store and choose all by myself my Beck’s lager and my first Riesling.
A 16-year-old in the USA is a selfish mercenary. Put him in Europe for 6 months, he returns a matured and ready pirate. Please support your local exchange programs--you'd be surprised at the diversity, culture and interesting people that are pirating around your area.
Don't forget about the free giveaway!
Quantity of books are limited, so act now and get your free Jaclyn Stuart signed copy of "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Wine and Food Pairing" with purchase of a set of 4 Helicium Grand from www.heliciumglass.com Just enter "pairing" as the discount code at check-out and we'll ship your glasses with the free book!
It's back to school season for adults too. Get a free copy of " The Complete Idiot's Guide to Wine and Food Pairing" with a purchase of a set of 4 Helicium Grand!
By Greg Gottsacker