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Randy Pench /

Coffee talk to kick off keynote address at Unified Wine & Grape Symposium

Published: Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2013 - 11:29 am

The Unified Wine & Grape Symposium will descend on Sacramento from Jan. 28 to Jan. 30, bringing the biggest annual convention to town and the wine world’s largest trade show in the western hemisphere. However, coffee will take center stage at the keynote luncheon with an address by Jerry Baldwin, the former owner of Peet’s Coffee and co-founder of Starbucks.

Baldwin also has some connections to the wine industry, with his J. Baldwin Wines in the Sonoma Valley. This boutique winery specializes in small lots of zinfandel and petite sirah, with between 50 and 75 cases produced annually for some bottlings.

This coffee talk might not be such a stretch in an event geared towards wine. Some credit the emergence of the specialty coffee industry with perking interest in wine, particularly with the so-called millennial generation, which marketers say favor sophisticated beverage choices at an earlier age than older demographics.

And perhaps the winery owners and grape growers can glean a few tips from the $30 billion coffee industry in the United States.

“Jerry is a well accomplished, multi-talented business professional on an international scale,” said Lyndie Boulton, executive director for the American Society for Enology and Viticulture (ASEV), in a statement. “His unmatched expertise on marketing and customer service will make for a powerful opening day.”

For more information about the Unified Wine & Grape Symposium, which attracted more than 13,000 registrants in January, surf over to their web site.

Read more articles by Chris Macias

About Appetizers

Chris Macias has served as The Sacramento Bee's Food & Wine writer since 2008. His writing adventures have ranged from the kitchen at French Laundry to helping pick 10 tons of zinfandel grapes with migrant farm workers in Lodi. Chris also judges regularly at food, wine and cocktail competitions around Northern California. His profile of a former gangbanger-turned-pastry-chef was included in Da Capo's "Best Food Writing 2012."

Read his Wine Buzz columns here
(916) 321-1253
Twitter: @chris_macias

Allen Pierleoni writes about casual lunchtime restaurants in The Sacramento Bee's weekly "Counter Culture" column. He covers a broad range of topics, including food, travel, books and authors. In addition to writing the weekly column "Between the Lines," he oversees the Sacramento Bee Book Club, in which well-known authors give free presentations to the public.

Read his Counter Culture reviews here
(916) 321-1128
Twitter: @apierleonisacbe

Blair Anthony Robertson is The Sacramento Bee's food critic.

Read his restaurant reviews here
(916) 321-1099
Twitter: @Blarob

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