Summer Crush Vineyard & Winery | In My Travels

by Jamie Sanford on March 30, 2017

To see all of my travel posts, click here.

All images taken with the iPhone 7 Plus.

We traveled through a bit of South Florida on a recent road trip. I have many more spots to share, but will start with the most unexpected stop that we took. We were driving north after an overnight stay in Juno Beach, and while in the Ft. Pierce area, I saw a tiny road sign with grapes that said “winery,” and I immediately turned the car around. We were on an adventure, so it seemed like the right thing to do.

We ended up at Summer Crush Vineyard & Winery.

Open!

This is about as Floridian as you can get.

The exterior was lovely.

These wreaths are perfect.

We got inside and found ourselves in a tasting room/store.

Local products, and you can see ribbons for a few of the wines they produce.

There was a larger number of wines available than I would have expected.

Here is the tasting menu. What was the most surprising was that they make actual grape juice! It was intensely delicious.

The wines were good, but the muscadine grapes do seem to run sweet, and so a lot of the wines skewed that way. The ones we enjoyed the most were Webejammin’ and Not Starboard, the second of which is their version of Port. We purchased a bottle of each, along with some for friends.

It was a delicious and unexpected stop on our day. We love visiting wineries in New Jersey, and I will admit to not even realizing that wine is made in Florida.

If you’re ever traveling in or around the Fort Pierce, Florida area, I definitely recommend a stop at Summer Crush Vineyard & Winery. If you aren’t a drinker, the grape juice alone is worth a visit!

Happy trails!

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I’ve been using Ancestry.com for a number of years now, but with a basic membership that only gives me access to records from the United States.

I was excited to receive an email about free access to Irish records for St. Patrick’s Day, as I found out through my Ancestry DNA test that I am actually 39% Irish! Unfortunately, there was such a big miss with the rollout of this free access, and I was incredibly disappointed with it. The social promotion potential was completely blown.

From the email:

This is great, because the free access is helpful to those of us looking for Irish records, and also is a good way to offer a preview of the more expensive global membership. I click the “kiss me I’m 7% Irish” image because I am hoping I can get one of my own to share socially.

On the actual website, I’m shown another image, and encouraged to explore AncestryDNA. There is no social option here!

I would love nothing more than to upload a photo of myself and have an image created automatically that would show how Irish I am, and obviously, would be a great promotional tool for Ancestry.com.

Additionally, a one-time creation of a social image generator could be customized to feature any one of the major groups that your DNA result assigns you to. This could be used at any time, for anyone’s personal reasons, and then promoted around appropriate dates, like this promotion for St. Patrick’s Day.

From my own experience, I find that once people get into checking out their family histories, they become quickly obsessed. Even creating this little tool as a gateway for people to find their way to Ancestry.com would be a strong additional to their marketing and promotional plan.

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I have written a previous blog post about an Mpix email, where I wasn’t happy about a tracking number that wasn’t linked.

I am happy to be back with a positive review of the typical “you put something in your cart, please come back and buy it” email. However, the content of this email is what made me think it was worthy of a blog post.

Instead of a basic message of “there’s something in your cart,” this is a reiteration of Mpix’s message of quality process and product. While the message is undoubtedly a sales pitch, it is delivered in such a way that I don’t mind the effort to convince me to finish my purchase. A short and sweet description of why Mpix is great, their fast service and quality products.

I haven’t yet finished my purchase but will undoubtedly do so.

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Napoleon House New Orleans | In My Travels

by Jamie Sanford on March 22, 2017

To see all of my travel posts, click here.

All images taken with the Sony NEX-6.

I’m not a big drinker. Like many others, I had a few moments I regret in college (and maybe a few after), but for the most part, I will go weeks at a time without a drink. My favorite alcoholic mixed drink is a Pimm’s Cup, and whenever they are on the menu, I’m definitely ordering one.

During our trip to New Orleans, we didn’t plan very well, and so on the night we tried to go to K-Paul’s Louisiana Kitchen, there was a long wait. We were directed to go down the street to Napoleon House. Little did we know that we were walking into our new favorite bar.

Come on. It’s so perfect that you have to go in.

Everything looks as old as it is.

I’m including both images for a full look at the tile details in the entryway.

It is very dark in the Napoleon House, so the next few images are a bit questionable. Don’t let that stop you!

Here’s the look when you walk in the front door. Even with the blur, you can almost taste the air in this bar. It’s incredibly atmospheric.

From the Napoleon House website:

For almost two centuries, the beloved landmark, The Napoleon House, on the corner of Chartres and St. Louis streets in the historical French Quarter of New Orleans, exudes a European charm that is a mecca for civilized drinking and eating. Its vibrant history prevails-the optimistic plot to provide refuge for the exiled Napoleon Bonaparte by the original owner, Nicholas Girod, Mayor of New Orleans from 1812 to 1815, did not come to pass for the emperor. The building has been known as the Napoleon House ever since, either as an Italian grocery store to a restaurant with countless servings of the signature Pimm’s Cup and long list of classic Creole favorites.

Multiple Pimm’s Cups! I went for the original, multiple times. (Perhaps before I took this photo.)

We had to leave Napoleon House before we wanted to, as we got the call that our table was ready down the street. However, we definitely went back the following night before we had dinner reservations at Sylvain.

Old and new(ish) combine well.

A bar with lamps! Does it get better?

Will is having a Pimm’s Cup here as well. Normally he goes for the Sazerac, a New Orleans classic.

In what is one of my new happy places in the world, with my favorite beverage.

I cannot wait to go back to New Orleans. I know that all of our trips there will mean multiple stops at the Napoleon House.

 

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Sephora.com New Brand Menu | Missing the Mark #15

by Jamie Sanford on March 16, 2017

To view all of my content about brand experience, please click here.

I have written many blog posts about Sephora.com. I am a huge fan of Sephora in general, but their website choices are, at times, baffling.

The most recent of these choices is their updated “brands” dropdown. They have completely changed their main site navigation, which is fine. You can see the main nav choices below.

I am focusing on the brands dropdown, because that is the one I use the most.

I like the images a lot, I’m fine with using this area to feature certain brands. I would not be surprised if Sephora, like many other retailers, offer placements to brands at a cost, and this new design may have created a few more revenue channels for them. However, there’s still a major piece missing!

Where is the “all brands” or “brands A-Z” on this menu? This was my go-to, and I imagine, the same for many others, when we were using the old version of the menus. Why even have a separate main navigation button for brands if you aren’t going to offer fast and easy access to ALL brands?

I know that I cannot be the only person wondering where this button is, and I hope that Sephora.com brings it back soon.

UPDATE 3/19/17: Sephora.com has added “brands A-Z” to the brands dropdown menu! I am pretty certain I’m not the only person who really wanted it back.

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