Centellino and Vino at the Miami Food and Beverage Show
Staff Writer - September 27, 2008
Saint Louis, Missouri-based Fiorino Italian Imports L.L.C. and WineCountry.IT, L.L.C., joined forces to promote the Centellino, the amazing Italian-made top-of-the-bottle decanter produced by Tuscan company Table Top, as well as nine select red wines, seven of which were produced by four Italian producers and two by California Adobe Vineyards (see inset for details).
The 11th Food and Beverages Show took place at Miami Beach Convention Center from Wednesday, September 24, 2008, to Friday the 26th.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Booth 335, featuring the Centellino, got busy as soon as the show opened at 10AM on Wednesday, when the Convention Center opened to the registered visitors, all professional buyers, distributors and importers from the US, Central and South America, and the Caribbean. Joe Fiorino and Loris Scagliarini, presidents of Fiorino Italian Imports L.L.C. and WineCountry.IT, L.L.C., respectively, spent almost the whole day in the VIP meeting area, in appointments with international buyers set up by the organization.
In addition to the aforementioned presidents of the two companies, the booth was staffed by Fiorino Italian Imports L.L.C. associates, including partner Sue Buchheit, Joe Fiorino Jr., Febi Meyer, and Dan Garland, president of Madinger Wines, who flew back to Missouri at the end of the day to take care of business back home.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008, a mariachi band welcomes the first visitors
to the 11th Food and Beverages Show in Miami, Florida
After a refreshing shower at the end of the show the team meet for dinner at the fancy China Grill with a buyer, Alfredo J. Schiappacase, Director of Paraguay-based Empresa Distribudora Especializada S.A.. The Centellino group brought one of our bottles and the client brought an excellent Argentinian Malbec from José Blanco and, of course, the wines were poured with the Centellino. While waiting for their table to be ready, Joe Sr. and Jr., Sue, Fabi, Loris the client sat outside under the portico, sipping wine and talking business. A group of customers came out of the restaurant and a nice looking blonde approach the table, excused herself and inquired about the Centellino.
The Centellino featured in the New Products showcase
"I don't even care if it works," says the blonde, "I want one just because it's so cute. Where can I find it?"
From left: Loris Scagliarini, President of WineCountry.IT, Sue Buchheit, Joe Fiorino Jr., Febi Meyer, and Joe Fiorino Sr., of Fiorino Italian Imports L.L.C.
The good thing about the Centellino though, is that it is truly effective in opening up an aged red wine instantly. In fact, when the waitress lead the group to the table and inquired about the Centellino, she then sent over the house sommelier. Loris described the Centellino effect to the massive sommelier, who leaned toward the table wearing a cynical expression, well known to the group sitting around the table. Upon invitation, the sommelier asked the waitress to bring him two glasses, and Scagliarini poured a taste from the bottle of Brunello di Montalcino La Togata in one goblet, and one from the Centellino in the other one. Six pairs of eyes sitting at the table, as well as two pairs belonging to two waitress on call, observed the face of the sommelier while he first sniffed one glass then the other, then took a sip from the first glass, followed by a sip from the second, after which the wine professional's eyes opened up with surprise. Another expression familiar to the group sitting at the dinner table.
"But, it works!" said the sommelier.
"That's what I just told you," answered Scagliarini.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Thursday the show started at 11, and as soon as the doors opened, the General Manager of Lima, Peru-based New Power International S.A.C., Blanca Estela Santillán Tafur, arrived at the booth apologizing because the trade show staff did not let her in earlier.
From left: Blanca Estela Santillán Tafur, General Manager of Lima, Peru-based New Power International S.A.C., Febi Meyer, and Joe Fiorino Sr., President of Fiorino Italian Imports L.L.C.
The day was a repetition of the previous, with a continuous wave of visitors passing through the booth and Fiorino Sr., Fabi Meyer and Scagliarini spending much of the time in the VIP meeting area with potential buyers from the US, the Caribbean and Central and South America.
Italy was represented in a small space featuring wines and products from Piedmont. Loris Scagliarini had the opportunity of exchanging a few words with the Commercial Attaché of the Italian Consulate General in Miami, Dr. Nicola Maria D'Ercole, and Consulate Trade Liaison Officer, Roberto Tagliaferro, who told him that it was actually the first time that Italy had returned to this trade show after a few years skipping it because of poor management. They gave it a try since the management had changed, and both said that the following year they would work to get a larger Italian presence.
At the end of the day our heroes were very tired, but Joe Fiorino Sr. drove Fabi to the airport, as she needed to be back in St, Louis, Missouri the next day. Later they just crossed the street from the Savoy Hotel, where they were staying, to have dinner at the Italian inspired Barolo restaurant. Here as well the Centellino proved to be a conversation strarter.
Friday, September 26, 2008
Back at the Miami Beach Convention Center by 10, the Centellino Areadivino team set up for the last meetings of the show. By 11 AM Scagliarini left for the airport to make it back home in the San Francisco Bay Area, in California, by 9 PM the same day.
The remaining Centellino people, Sue, Joe Sr. and Joe Jr. had dinner again with a buyer to cement the business deals with one leftover bottle of excellent Cannonau di Sardegna DOC La Marina 2004, perfectly aerated by the Centellino.
Despite the fact that the show was not specifically dedicated to wine or wine accessories, it turned out to be very positive. In fact, the Centellino generated more interest than expected, as did the wines poured to demonstrate how it works.