Terre Mieli Cieli — an Italian name pronounced TER-reh MYEL-ly, CHEL-ly— covers two business areas that are only loosely related: wine and public relations. What unifies them is storytelling.
We asked Brandon Mitchener to tell about his #ACBPartner company.
My wine tastings focus on grape varieties that aren’t very well known on the Belgian market and the winemakers who turn them into memorable wines. My next series of tastings will feature six excellent rosé wines from Belgium, Portugal and Greece. I also sell some wine on a small scale and plan to start a wine blog.
My public relations activities mostly relate to helping other people better tell their stories, whether to journalists, the EU institutions or the public. I run the small Brussels office of an EU public relations and public affairs agency named Instinctif Partners.
My advice on wine is don’t buy labels, buy quality. Many people overpay for a good bottle of wine because it has a fancy label or a fancy name or because a wine store has put it on sale. You can find excellent and award-winning wines for 10-20 euros a bottle from Portugal, Greece and Germany, for example, while I find most French wine sold in Brussels over-rated and over-priced.
The best way to tell what wine is worth the price is to drink it “blind”, i.e. covering the label(s) do you don’t know what you’re drinking until you’ve formed an opinion of it. In my wine tastings I often pit different wines against each other in blind competitions such as “France vs. the world”, “Battle of the Bubbles” (méthode traditionnelle wines from all over) and organic vs. non-organic (same country, same vintage, sometimes even the same producer).
Even in the virtual tastings I’m doing now I always ask people their opinions on taste, quality, price before I tell them the details. These tastings invariably surprise people, many of whom become instant fans of wines they’d otherwise never have dared to try.