What would it look like for you to pitch a winery on Dragon’s Den versus The Big Decision? What are the creative similarities between writing a book and making a wine? What’s the difference between being financially versus creatively invested in a company? What are the three pillars of principled persuasion in business and life?
In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I’m chatting with Arlene Dickinson, one of Canada’s top entrepreneurs who has had phenomenal success in many fields, from television to books and consultancy to consumer products.
You can find the wines we discussed here.
- How can you use the three pillars of principled persuasion?
- What huge advantage do women have as entrepreneurs?
- Why is it especially important to take yourself seriously as a young woman in business?
- What would it look like for you to pitch a winery on Dragon’s Den versus The Big Decision?
- How can the Canadian wine industry market itself more effectively?
- How do Arlene’s products afford you access to small indulgences?
- What would Kevin O’Leary be like as a wine?
- Can you make any parallels between the creative processes of writing a book and making a wine?
- Would you see a contrast between how men and women buy wine?
- What’s the difference when you are financially versus creatively invested in a company?
- Why did Arlene choose to start with a Cabernet blend for Persuasion?
- What can you expect from the Persuasion tasting profile?
- What broad differences has Arlene observed in how men and women present themselves in business?
- Why does Arlene believe her biggest influence in business didn’t come from a mentor?
- How did Arlene learn about high-end wine?
- Which parts of the wine world are Arlene’s favourite?
Start The Conversation: Click Below to Share These Wine Tips
The challenge, in Canada, that wineries have is that they are not doing a great job talking about their point of difference past that they’re Canadian wines. - Arlene Dickinson Click to tweet
About Arlene Dickinson
Arlene Dickinson is the General Partner of District Ventures Capital, a venture capital fund focused on helping market, fund and grow entrepreneurs and their companies, in the food and health space.
She is a three-time best-selling author and accomplished public speaker. Dickinson is widely recognized for her role as a Dragon/Venture Capitalist for over 12 seasons on the multi-award-winning television series, Dragons Den.
Ms. Dickinson’s leadership has been recognized many times, including Canada’s Most Powerful Women Top 100 Hall of Fame, the Pinnacle Award for Entrepreneurial Excellence, as well as PROFIT and Chatelaine’s Top 100 Women Business Owners. She is a Marketing Hall of Legends inductee and a proud recipient of the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Award. Dickinson has served for many years as an Honourary Captain in the Royal Canadian Navy. She sits on several public and private boards and is actively involved in supporting the community and country.
- Connect with Arlene
- Unreserved Wine Talk | Episode 87: Pairing Wine with Sharks, Dragons and Kevin O’Leary
- Niagara-on-the-Lake Wineries Shipping Direct to Home
- Ontario Wineries Shipping Direct to Home
- Nova Scotia Wineries Shipping Direct to Home
- British Columbia Wineries Shipping Direct to Home
- Join me LIVE on Facebook every second Wednesday at 7pm Eastern
- My new class The 5 Wine & Food Pairing Mistakes That Can Ruin Your Dinner And How To Fix Them Forever
Join me on Facebook Live Video
Join me on Facebook Live Video every second Wednesday at 7 pm eastern for a casual wine chat. Want to know when we go live?
Add this to your calendar:
Tag Me on Social
Tag me on social media if you enjoyed the episode:
- @nataliemaclean and @natdecants on Facebook
- @nataliemaclean on Twitter
- @nataliemacleanwine on Instagram
- @nataliemaclean on LinkedIn
- Email Me at email@example.com
Thirsty for more?
- Sign up for my free online wine video class where I’ll walk you through The 5 Wine & Food Pairing Mistakes That Can Ruin Your Dinner (and how to fix them forever!)
- Join me on Facebook Live Video every second Wednesday at 7 pm eastern for a casual wine chat.
- You’ll find my books here, including Unquenchable: A Tipsy Quest for the World’s Best Bargain Wines and Red, White and Drunk All Over: A Wine-Soaked Journey from Grape to Glass.
- The new audio edition of Red, White and Drunk All Over: A Wine-Soaked Journey from Grape to Glass is now available on Amazon.ca, Amazon.com and other country-specific Amazon sites; iTunes.ca, iTunes.com and other country-specific iTunes sites; Audible.ca and Audible.com.
Transcript & Takeaways
Welcome to episode 94!
What would it look like for you to pitch a winery on Dragon’s Den versus The Big Decision? What are the creative similarities between writing a book and making a wine? What’s the difference between being financially versus creatively invested in a company? What are the three pillars of principled persuasion in business and life?
That’s exactly what you’ll discover in this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast. I’m chatting with Arlene Dickinson, who is best known as a judge on the hit TV show Dragons’ Den as well as advising struggling companies on The Big Decision.
This conversation took place on my Facebook Live video show a couple of years ago so please keep that in mind as the context for Arlene’s comments.
I’ll include links to Arlene’s wines and other products, where you can find us on Facebook live every second Wednesday at 7 pm, and how you can join me in a free online wine and food pairing class — that’s all in the show notes at nataliemaclean.com/94.
Last weekend, Miles and I visited Almonte, a storybook village near Ottawa.
We love going into antique shops to gaze at past lives… someone’s favourite teacup, a well-thumbed book, a fireplace poker with just a bit of rust.
Someday, some little shop will have my lovingly worn Fluevog shoes…
I think every bottle of wine has a story too… if we’re listening to it.
Is there one wine that brings back the strongest memory for you?
We’re just 6 episodes away from number 100. Do you have any ideas on how we can celebrate this milestone together? I’m going to give away 3 signed copies of my second book, Unquenchable, which Amazon named one of the best books of the year to 3 people who come up with the best ideas.
So please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or tag me on social media with any ideas you have to make it fun. And there will be wine.
Okay, on with the show!
Well, there you have it! I hope you enjoyed my chat with Arlene Dickinson. Here are my take-aways:
- I love Arlene’s three pillars of principled persuasion for business and life that involves building emotional connections based on three core elements: authenticity, honesty and reciprocity
- Her advice for young women to take themselves seriously and present a professional image is reminiscent of another recent guest Karen MacNeil.
- Arlene is right on the mark that both wine and writing require a narrative throughline in their creative expression.
You won’t want to miss next week when I’ll be chatting with Janice Beaton, from Calgary who will chat about pairing wine with many types of artisanal cheeses from around the world.
In the meantime, if you missed episode 87 with another Dragon’s Den host, Kevin O’Leary, go back and take a listen. You’ll find out why Arlene says that if Kevin were a wine it wouldn’t be subtle. You’ll also hear how Kevin says Arelene gets to work every morning. I’ll share a short clip with you now to whet your appetite.
If you liked this episode, please tell a friend about it, especially one who’s interested in the wine and business tips Arlene shared.
You’ll find links to Arlene’s wines and other products, the video version of this chat, a complete transcript of the conversation, where you can find me on Facebook live every second Wednesday at 7 pm, and how you can join me in a free online wine and food pairing class — that’s all in the show notes at nataliemaclean.com/94.
Thank-you for taking the time to join me here. I hope something great is in your glass this week, perhaps a wine that persuades you to have a second glass!
Arlene Dickinson 0:00
wines evolve with time just like stories change and grow bigger with time. There really is no end to the wine story. That’s what I love about it. Every time I open a bottle of my wine, it’s a 2010 blend. And when I open it now, I think it’s changing so much and it’s growing and it’s maturing, and it’s fantastic. Just like a good story, right. Excellent. Wow, way to tie them together.
Natalie MacLean 0:29
Do you have a thirst to learn about wine? Do you love stories about wonderfully obsessive people, hauntingly beautiful places, and amusingly awkward social situations? That’s the blend here on the unreserved wine talk podcast. I’m your host, Natalie MacLean. And each week, I share with you unfiltered conversations with celebrities in the wine world, as well as confessions from my own tipsy journey. As I write my third book on this subject, I’m so glad you’re here. Now pass me that bottle please. And let’s get started. Welcome to Episode 94. What would it look like for you to pitch a winery idea on Dragon’s Den television show versus the big decision? What are the creative similarities between writing a book and making a wine? What’s the difference between being financially versus creatively invested in a company? And what are the three pillars of principle persuasion for business and life? That’s exactly what you’ll discover. In this episode of The unreserved wine talk podcast. I’m chatting with Arlene Dickinson, who is best known as a judge on the hit TV show Dragon’s Den, as well as advising struggling companies on the big decision. This conversation took place My Facebook Live video shows a number of years ago so please keep that in mind as the context for earnings comments. I’ll include links to Orleans wines and other products where you can find me on Facebook Live every second Wednesday at 7pm and how you can join me in a free online wine and food pairing class. That’s all in the show notes at Natalie MacLean comm forward slash 94. Last weekend, miles and I visited Elmont it’s a storybook village very close to Ottawa. And we just love going into antique shops to gaze at past lives like someone’s favourite tea cup or a welfare book or a fireplace poker with just a bit of rust that miles bought. Someday some little shop somewhere will have my lovingly worn fluevog shoes. Yes, I’m still obsessing about fluevog shoes, Canadian designer who brings light and colour into my life. This It’s not a paid commercial, but I’ve been posting about them lately on social media if you want to see what I mean. I think every bottle of wine has a story to it for listening to it. Is there one wine that brings back a really strong memory for you? I’d love to know. We’re just six episodes away now from number 100. Do you have any ideas on how we can celebrate this milestone together? I’m going to give away three signed copies of my second book unquenchable, which Amazon named as one of the best books of the year to the three people who come up with the best ideas or any ideas at all. So please email me at Natalie at Natalie MacLean comm or tag me on social media with any ideas you have to make it fun. Yes, there will be wine. Okay, on with the show.
Arlene Dickinson 3:55
Arlene Dickinson is best known as the judge on the hit TV show Dragon’s Den as Well as advising struggling companies on the big decision, she’s the owner and CEO of venture communications, a powerhouse agency focused on marketing strategy. She’s been inducted into Canada’s most powerful women top 100 Hall of Fame. And she’s the mother of four children. With all her spare time, she recently published a book called persuasion, as well as a line of luxury products with the same brand name, including skincare, chocolate, coffee, and what we’re going to talk about today, wine. Welcome, Arlene. Hi, I’m glad you could join me a fan of your book. But we’re going to focus on the wine but before we dive into that, I would love to hear a little bit from you about your approach to persuasion because I think it’s part of a blend in all that you do. So how do you advise people to be persuasive without being aggressive? Well, you know, I really believe that there’s three pillars to persuasion, principled persuasion, because a lot of people think about persuasion as something that’s either about manipulation or dilution or somehow getting somebody to do something that they don’t want to do. And so I believe that principle persuasion is all about being genuine, like telling people exactly who you are and kind of being exactly the person that you are showing up. Same in businesses and personal life. And being authentic, which is being who you are being honest being exactly the person you say you are, and believing in a win win. So if you believe in a win win, if you are genuine about what you’re trying to do, and you’re honest, and you are authentic, then I think that people will absolutely follow you and do things with you. And do you think women take a different approach to persuasion and man I know that could lead to a big generalisation. But have you noticed some differences? Yes, I think that I actually want to characterise that as maybe yes and no, I think sometimes in life, I think women can be very authentic and very genuine and honest. But I think sometimes in business they feel they have to put on a mantle of something different whereas a man usually doesn’t have that same challenge. They tend to exactly as they are and expect you just to accept them. And women in business, sometimes we get in this rut where we believe we have to be somewhat different than what we really are. Which is too bad. I don’t think we do. Okay. And do you think that, you know, when it comes to women in business, there’s some kind of polar conflict between self doubt and success? Do you think women tend to struggle with that more? For sure, I definitely think that most entrepreneurs in general struggle, self doubt. I think that’s one of the drivers of an entrepreneur. Women have a lot of self that we believe that our opinions aren’t as valid. We’re told off and that we don’t have the same kind of voice or strength at the table. We’re told that emotions are a bad thing. I think that’s also wrong. I think emotions are in fact exactly what you need a business because people follow. People that they connect with, that they feel are genuine about who they are, and are unafraid to be leaders who are fallible and unafraid to be leaders who are connected and I think that’s what women do in spades. Not that men are wrong and women are wrong or right. It’s not about that it’s about being who you are. And in this case, if you’re a woman, then you should take advantage of the things that you have. I think women have a different emotional connection and a chance to have an emotional dialogue that men will never have. And that that’s a huge advantage. As far as I’m concerned. It may be just part of what you’ve just said. But is there any particular advice that you give to young women heading into business? take yourself seriously. I may sound very old when I say this, and I don’t mean to, but I think the professionalism that women need to get back to a little bit, I think women have lost a little bit of that young women in particular, are losing their self respect, there needs to be a lot of self respect. You have to really own the room and you have to own the room because of your presence and your intelligence as much as your physical attributes. And I think sometimes young women nowadays are losing sight of that and they’ve gone too far the other way in terms of just kind of not be as professionally dressed and professionally put out as they need to be. And by that, I certainly don’t mean you need to wear a three piece suit. I mean, you need to Just take yourself very seriously. And who’s been your biggest influence when it comes to business who has most influenced your work style? I haven’t had one mentor in my life I, my my father probably had the biggest influence in my life. I would say I’ve had many mentors in my life, I find that every time I talk to somebody, and I spend real time with them, and listen to what they have to tell me, they share with me their learnings and their stories. And I learned from them. So I think part of what I would say the biggest mentors that I’ve had or been people that were just willing to share their stories with me their life’s adventures, and from that I have figured out a way to be stronger myself. So I’m very grateful to along the way, no matter if I’m sitting at a dinner at a restaurant and meet somebody new or whether I’m at an event and I’m sitting beside this complete stranger, or I’m sitting on you know, a bus next to somebody, although I have to admit I have not sat on a bus for a while. Not until you deal with a busing company. I’m one of the shows maybe. And I don’t mean that I just don’t think as I said that people are ready really, when was the last time you sat on a bassinet to somebody, but I have spoken to people on buses and you know, and everywhere and I found but their stories to be really helpful and really informative. Okay, you get so many requests for advice and tips and help recently and it seems like someone is tweeting at you every 10 seconds. How do you handle all of that? incoming questions, requests? It’s kind of a timely question, because this morning, I was looking at Twitter and I get a lot of people who send me such lovely, lovely notes. I mean, they send things I go, Wow, that was really very special. And I am often it’s almost like I’m too embarrassed to write back and say, well, thank you or to retweet it, because I think people are gonna think that, you know, somehow braggy but I honestly can tell you that I am very grateful for the things that people say to me, it bolsters my day. It makes me feel good about the things that I’m doing. It makes me feel blessed. And so the people who do send me those notes if you’re watching this, I want to thank them for that. Because I don’t often thank people enough because I’m a little bit embarrassed by it. But it does mean something to me It helps my day be better. embarrassed by it, you have had such success. How is it that you stay so grounded? Are you just naturally neurotic or what? I mean?
Unknown Speaker 10:20
Yes. So humble,
Arlene Dickinson 10:24
complicated bundle of groceries, I guess. I never anticipated that I would be here in my life. I know that the success I’ve had is come through hard work and commitment to taking care of myself and my family. So I think it’s because it’s been unexpected. And I do have a lot of self doubt. And I do know that I’m not that special. I just feel how could you complain about this life? And I mean, that for anybody that lives in our country, right? How can you complain about the slave we have so much opportunity? I get up every morning I go. Thank you, God for giving me this opportunity to do The things I have the opportunity to do. My dad taught me that my dad taught me to be grateful. And I think gratitude is something that is being missed by many people in life. There’s a lot of entitlement out there. And I think gratitude goes a long, long way. Wow. Okay, well, I would love to stay on those topics all day, but this is supposed to be about wine. So let’s segue into that was wine on the table in your family home when you were growing up? It was not I was raised as a Mormon. So it was not on the table at my home. Okay, can you remember the first time you had a taste of wine your first wine drinking experience? I can. I can’t there was in grade 12 towards my graduation year, believe it or not, so I was a late during curve that characterises the late drinker. And from there I just started to really like why am I here? There was a baby duck incident. Yes.
You know, there’s some things that I’m not going to put on this chat.
Okay, okay, I do understand about branding. All right, fine. I’ve probably already got people mad because I’m saying that don’t dress right. I just want to go back. I’m not saying that girls aren’t dressing right? Or that it’s not okay to take the bus, or that the bus, maybe I want to do this whole Google thing again. Go away. Okay. So if you were to have a winery or winery owner, or someone pitching a wine business on the Dragon’s Den, versus on the big decision, how would those two shows be different? What would you be talking about on the Dragon’s Den when it comes to a wine business? And what would it be on the big decision on the dragon’s and they’d be coming in, they probably would have gotten their wine started and their labels going and their sales were just beginning. And they were trying to get it to the next level, or they’d have the idea that they wanted to buy a winery, or they would be saying, you know what, now that we’ve done the red wine, we want to do another couple different blends of wines. On the big decision, they would come on and say we’ve been running a winery for a long time. And our sales were really good. And then we made a mistake because we acquired another winery and we couldn’t run them well together. And now our business is starting to suffer as a result, can you help? So one is more mid stage, or later stage of business where they have found themselves in a turnaround or in a situation where they’re in trouble and their business isn’t as successful as it used to be. And the other one’s more of a startup, you know, we’re just getting going, we need some help to take it to the next level. Okay. And I know you’re a big proponent of marketing, it’s the focus of your agency, among other things, to drive business results. What do you think that the wine industry as a whole needs to do better when it comes to marketing? I think they do many things. Well, I do want to say that I think the wine industry does many things. Well, I think that there are some laws that need to be changed in Canada in particular that you know, date back to prohibition in terms of how wineries are able to market themselves and what their geography is that they’re limited to because of the challenges they face. I do think that the challenge that in Canada, the wineries have is that they are not doing a great job talking about their point of difference past that they’re Canadian wines. There are some great Canadian wines being made. And I would actually say, That’s true everywhere. The region itself needs to do a better job of talking about the value of the industry to the country, the value of the industry to what they’re actually producing. In the US, they I think they’ve done a great job of that. I mean, you know, know about the Napa Valley and know about Sonoma, we know about kind of what’s happening there. We understand European old bridle lines and how they’ve been evolving because they do a great job of marketing them. I don’t think that’s happening here yet.
Natalie MacLean 14:42
Arlene Dickinson 14:44
Now, how did you start to acquire a taste for good wine? We talked about early experiences, the dark days, but how, as you started to discover better wines, was there a certain person who introduced you to good ones, you know, there was actually there was a fellow who was a friend of mine who Many years ago, I’m going to go back maybe 1520 years ago. And I started to say to mind, I don’t know how to order a great one. I’m not sure exactly what I’m doing. I’m always intimidated when I go into the liquor store because I don’t want to buy something that’s going to be bad. And now he had collected a lot of wines. He was actually the first person I’ve ever met who was really a wine collector. And he at that point, told me that I should start thinking about the essence. And I said, Well, what do you mean the assets? And he said, Well, there’s Opus, and caymus, and Dominic, California guy, California guy, and then he said, and then you can remember the Chateau monta llinas and the farney aunties, and he gave me You know, I’m just kind of rattling off but he was a California guy, but he was actually kind of helping me understand that there were different things to look at. And he had me taste all those wines. And now today, those ones are all very expensive. They weren’t as expensive back then. But they were still a little on the pricey side. And he said, what you do is you buy them and you store them and you keep them and they appreciate what they If nothing else, if they don’t go up and cost value, they go up in the wine tastes. So he taught me about that. And he taught me about Persian rugs. I think the wine habit was a lot cheaper than the Persian rug happened. It was great. Now you, of course, have launched a brand wine called persuasion along with the kind of luxury products of coffee and chocolate and the skincare. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe you immigrated with your parents when you’re very young from South Africa. And they arrived in the country with about $50. Is that correct? That’s absolutely correct. And do you think that this tastes for indulgences, even small indulgences, because we’re not talking about a 50 foot yacht here is in any way related to your beginnings? That’s a very interesting question. I would say that we grew up very, very poor, and things like having food in the fridge. I joked earlier about the bus and you know, taking yourself through And those things, but this actually does tie back to what I grew up with, because I think we couldn’t afford to take the bus. We walked because the bus was too expensive. And we didn’t have food in our fridge. And you know, when we did buy groceries, it was a big deal in our home, because selling there was food on the table. And you know, that was a big deal. So, yes, I would say that now that I can afford to buy the things that I can afford to buy, I feel really lucky that I can I feel very privileged that I can but I also don’t want to have the things that I’m making be unattainable. Now, the wine is a little bit on the pricier side that I’ve created. But the chocolates and the you know, things that I’ve got, hopefully are small indulgences that anybody can afford. They’re not things that you want to buy for yourself every day because you know, nobody does that. But you do want to have things that are high quality and good. And so yes, I would say that the insight that you provided is that a lot of that does come because in my past I could not have done any of that. And I think also women tend to look for Those small indulgences. Again, I don’t want to generalise horribly but you know, busy lives can’t always take off to the Cayman Islands. But you can have an amazing piece of chocolate with cayenne pepper, or a great Bordeaux blend Cabernet blend. Do you think those really attract women is your brand for those products, more aimed at women than men? When I created the persuasion line of products, the wine and the coffee and the chocolate, I did it because I had written this book. And as I kept thinking about what do I like to do, and I read, I’d love to sit down, open a great book, have a nice glass of wine, have some chocolate or drinks a cup of coffee, and it really came out of that. So do I think that women it resonates for them probably, you know, because it came from a woman’s notion. You know, it came from a female perspective. That’s what I do. But I can tell you how a lot of men like my chocolate, like off in my wine, but I didn’t create it with a gender in mind. I created it with the idea in mind that sometimes it just needs to go to ourselves, sometimes we just need a moment. And we don’t need to sweat about anyone else. And women do not do that enough. That’s something I can say we’re caregivers and sometimes they don’t care for ourselves. That’s true. So, if you were to describe your co host, Kevin O’Leary as a wine, what would it be like? We can edit this. What would Kevin be like?
It wouldn’t be a subtle one. But not to be so tannic, needing to smooth out it might need to smooth out a little bit. Yes. Okay, we’ll leave that. Back to your comment about the book, which is really interesting because my favourite things to do as well as to read and have a glass. But do you think there’s any similarities between the narrative arc of a book which you’ve just been through in depth in writing your book called persuasion? And making a wine, the creative process anything similar there that you see? For sure, I mean, as I said earlier, and I probably character Is this genuine authentic and when when it really is about being honest, genuine, authentic and when when and so, I think when you’re making a great wine and the arc of that is you want an honest one, you want something that feels like exactly what it is trying to be. It’s not trying to trick you or fool you. It wants to kind of show up as what it is, um, you want a wine that’s authentic. You don’t want it full of stuff that you don’t understand and you want it to know you know, you want it to be genuine and be what it is and then you want to courses a win win than a bolo. Why? Because the winery won when you bought it, you win when you drink. The arc of the story with a wine Yes, when you make a wine there is this path you go down there’s a journey of a wine and you’re you know you do the tastings you, you figure out what it is you like you have to understand enough about what you’re tasting to feel and believe that is going to continue to evolve because wines evolve with time just like stories change and grow bigger with time. There really is no end to the wine story. That’s What I love about it every time I open a bottle of my wine, it’s 2010 blend. And when I open it in now, I think it’s changing so much. It’s, it’s growing and it’s maturing. And it’s fantastic. Just like a good story. Right? Excellent. Wow, way to tie them together. So I mean, several studies have said that women by 80% have wine, because what tend to be the household purchasers of a lot of things from shreddies to SUVs, plan the dinners and also the social gatherings. Do you think women buy wine in a different way from men in terms of what we look for? You know, I don’t know the stats on that. I don’t know what we would be looking for. I think we may be more attracted to the beauty of the bottle and the beauty of the label that actually I think is meaningful, or the interest of it, and I’m not saying we’re fooled by it. I think it’s just an add to it. It’s like looking at a beautiful home that’s well decorated. You still had love the home but it was well decorated. That’s a big plus. Right. So how Little bit of that goes on. But I don’t know, that will be an interesting thing to find out. I’m going to do some investigation on that don’t get no the answer. No market research, though it’s a great. Yes, it does get an agent. I should have done that. No, no. And what point I heard you make in a previous interview was it’s different having a financial interest in a company versus a creative interest. Your wine would be one you didn’t make the wine. But you certainly are financially invested in it. What’s the difference to you? There’s some things that you know that you could add value in the manufacturing or the early stage where your input is going to add significant value in the creation of something. I can’t help the winemaker make a better wine because they’re experts at what they do. But what I can think creatively about how one of market that wine I can think creatively about how I want to be involved with it. I can certainly add on from a marketing perspective, what I can do to Bring that wine to life in the marketplace, but the actual making of that wine that’s an art and a science and it’s something that I certainly don’t know. I just know what tastes good. I don’t have any ability to add value in the front end. Other than that, I’ll drink to that. I think we should both drink to that. Alright. Thirsty, thirsty. All right. So when you were choosing which wine to put in a bottle with your brand on it, what did you consider why did you go say for a Cabernet blend versus say Pinot Noir. You know, I started off I was going to do a Pinot Noir when I first began and I wanted to have something that I thought was going to be very accessible. I also really loved the Cabrillo blends are becoming more and more popular. Some people are intimidated by pinos, right some people are not as comfortable with Pinot as they are a blend. So it just felt like the right thing to do to start. That doesn’t mean that I’m not going to do a penal because I might. Oh wow. Cheers. So
I was thinking maybe you could do like a dessert wine called dragon ice wine for when hell freezes over something. I don’t know. You seem to tie into the dragon fight array notion. Yes, yes. that’s inevitable. Maybe a tequila next time for the dragon. sighs That’s true. That’s far more firing. No, this is one. This is beautiful. I really do like it. It is very smooth for 2010 full body but not over the top heavy. What do you get when you taste it? I certainly get a block current. I love the colour of it. It’s kind of sweet to me. It’s got a nice sleek tan. And to me, I love the current senate. It’s a little slowly, then it’s not over the top floral. Right? Right. Absolutely. No, it’s lovely. One other question I have to ask because I know you’re such a big proponent of Canadian companies. Why did you make a wine in Niagara or the Okanagan? It’s a question that I I do get asked a lot. And I can tell you that I am looking into actually making a wine up here. Now, the reason I bought and I got involved with this company is there’s a long story behind it partly was some commitment that I made to do this a long time ago. And because I wanted to stick to my commitment, I did it. But I also think that we can’t be so protective about everything, we have to think about being global operators just like the way the Canadian wineries need to sell their products worldwide. They need to also accept that people have varying tastes, and they’re going to buy products around the world. So I’m not going to apologise that it’s not a Canadian wine, but I will tell you that I will definitely look to be doing a Canadian one. And I would like to support a winemaker here that can come up with a great product and there’s lots of them. So I’m excited about it. But doesn’t mean that this is any less because it’s not Canadian. I’m sure after we post this, you will be getting a lot more tweets, and I hope so I do want the Canadian wineries to know that I’m definitely committed to doing something up here as well. Wow, who in the wine world do you admire? Earlier, whether it’s a winemaker or a sommelier, or anyone is there someone who comes to mind that who you admire a single individual? No, what what I really like are the wineries where their small boutique wineries where it’s kind of an art that’s really important to the people that run the winery. So there are a lot of those and there are many of those candidates that are the ones that aren’t into the mass production and that not to get me or not that I don’t think they’re away. I do think though, that these small batch wineries are coming out with a little kind of jewels and little pieces of art that fascinates me so I like that a lot of appeals to me and also like the people who kind of left behind their life and said you know what, I’m gonna go and buy a winery and follow their dream and god there’s so many of them now that have done that in the US and I even some people in Canada have done that right where they bought a winery and they’ve put their corporate jobs and they’re pursuing their dreams so admirer that yeah, it seems to be wine as the sunny second refuge of new careers was Have you been a doctor or lawyer or you know, from all walks of life actually then
Natalie MacLean 27:05
interesting stories, which is what makes this business I think so fascinating.
Arlene Dickinson 27:09
And there were some people on like wine tours and you stop in summary, you actually talk to the owners. They all have great stories. So I admired that. I loved it. We’re back to mentorship, right? It’s a great story everywhere. Absolutely. Well, to finish up, if you could have a glass of wine with anyone living or dead in history, who would it be and why? Oh, wow. That’s a tough question. I mean, from a personal perspective, I could have anyone that for a moment in my life, it would be my father. So I would say that I would want to have a glass of wine with my dad.
Natalie MacLean 27:45
Would you share this one with him?
Arlene Dickinson 27:47
Absolutely. Absolutely. Hit the cute enjoy it. That’s great. Thank you so much. Arlene. This was a wonderful conversation. I wish you all the best with this. I’ll post the links as to where people can buy this wine. Thank you and keep on doing Great work you’re doing. Thank you so much.
Natalie MacLean 28:07
Well, there you have it. I hope you enjoyed my chat with Arlene Dickinson. Here are my takeaways. Number one, I love Arlene’s three pillars of principle persuasion for business and life that involves building emotional connections based on three core elements authenticity, honesty, and reciprocity. Number two, her advice for young women to take themselves seriously and present a professional image is reminiscent of another highly successful and powerfully confident woman we had on the podcast recently, Karen MacNeil, and number three Arlene is right on the mark that both wine and writing require a narrative through line in their creative expression and you won’t want to miss next week when I’ll be chatting with Janice Beaton from Calgary who will share with As tips on pairing wine with many types of artisanal cheeses from around the world. In the meantime, if you missed Episode 87 with another Dragon’s Den host, Kevin O’Leary. Go back and take a listen. You’ll find out why Arlene says that if Kevin were a wine, it wouldn’t be subtle. You’ll also hear how Kevin says Arlene gets to work every morning. Also not subtle. I’ll share a short clip now with you to whet your appetite.
Kevin O’Leary 29:29
When I enter into a business, I want to be competitive and I want to win. That’s what I do and everything I’ve learned. So I started doing some research. I sat down with the people at the lcbo and said let’s talk about price point. I thought I’d want to come out at around a $48 price points that were white. They said You’re crazy. Here’s why 97% of wines purchased in Ontario are under $19 a bottle. The sweet spot is 1495. If you want to garner massive market share quickly, you want to be 1495 So effectively what happened is I took what I thought was a $50 bottle and brought it out in 1495. Because you can’t get a permanent listing of the crazy high price point, you can’t get a permanent listing. If you’re not a QA and you want a permanent listings, there’s over 600 lcbo stores. So I’m in 120. Now I’m rolling out another hundred. I’m doing a lot of tastings with the customers I’m enjoying the marketing process, but understanding the market is very important if you’re going to launch a wine and gain market share.
Natalie MacLean 30:33
If you liked this episode, please tell a friend about it. Especially one who’s interested in the wine and business tips Arlene shared and you’ll find links to Arlene’s wines and other products. The video version of this chat, a complete transcript of the conversation where you can find me on Facebook Live every second Wednesday at 7pm and how you can join me in a free online wine and food pairing class. That’s all in the show notes. At Natalie maclean.com forward slash 94. Thank you for taking the time to join me here. I hope something great is in your glass this week, perhaps a wine that persuades you to have a second glass.
You don’t want to miss one juicy episode of this podcast, especially the secret full body bonus episodes that I don’t announce on social media. So subscribe for free now at Natalie MacLean comm forward slash subscribe. We’ll be here next week. Cheers