Eminent Wines Ltd.’s founder, Jerome J. Jacober, on the feel, taste and sensation of brands

Jerome J. Jacober discusses how his bespoke beverage company delivers brand experiences with taste.

Jerome J. Jacober, you’re founder and CEO of Eminent Wines Ltd. I’m fascinated to find out… What led you to start a drinks company?
It’s quite simple – I love wine! But more importantly, I like the business of wine, the marketing of wine, I love wine brands. I have an inner, independent, Swiss drive – an entrepreneurial spirit. As a Psychology graduate, I love the versatility and diversity of the drinks industry, and I set up Eminent Wines.

And for those that don’t know it, what is Eminent Wines?
Eminent Wines is an independent, bespoke beverage company delivering gifts for businesses, wine tastings, and creating brands. We partner with artists and national campaigns that aim to raise money for charity through the bespoke wine drinks we make.

How did you come to found the company?
I’m multi-lingual and could live and work anywhere, but I’ve settled in London, UK. London is the centre for business, entrepreneurial spirit, philanthropy, and it’s such a diverse, cosmopolitan place. I set up Eminent Wines to deliver bespoke gifts for businesses, including bespoke beverages, wine tastings, and exclusive wine-related service – Eminent Wines is firmly placed in the UK.

Jerome J. Jacober, Eminent Wines
Great answer! Tell me a little about the charity side of things; how does that work?

For the drinks brands, developed and supplied through Eminent Wines, a portion of the sales must go to a chosen charity of each client/partner, and it’s much more than the drink… It’s about the stories that interweave and interact as you taste, purchase, believe in the brand.

Can you give me a couple of examples of those wine ranges?
With the 100 Royal British Legion Champagne range, there are so many stories behind the champagne – of the founders, the people the Legion has helped over the last 100 years, why it’s still relevant today, why it needs to fundraise even more; what are the celebrations, the supporters…

The Champagne Charles Orban, Cuvee Roger Daltrey Champagne was created to celebrate 50 years of The Who and Roger’s involvement in the music business. The award-winning champagne supports Teen Cancer America, a charity founded by Roger Daltrey and fellow band member; lead guitarist and songwriter, Pete Townshend. Over $5million has been raised.

Gosh! That’s staggering!
In addition, Eminent Wines created and supplies the UB40 Red, Red Wine…

Jerome J. Jacober, Eminent Wines
Kudos on the name! Very good!

This limited edition cuvée was created by bringing a private Bordeaux Chateau with UB40 featuring Ali and Astro, the founding members of Britain’s biggest reggae band. UB40 stands for the unemployed benefit form in The UK and music – this is and will be a big part of this Red Red Wine project. I worked with a Big Issue salesperson to design the new wine label for The UB40 Red Red Wine. This collaboration work will expand. This project supports and will carry on supporting homeless and unemployed people. Can we post a link to Roger Daltrey’s talking about that?

Absolutely; we’ll put that in at the end. Tell me then, Jerome, what is it you look for in brand partners?
Eminent Wines are leading creators of bespoke wines, Champagne, and spirits. It’s paramount that we understand the power of the brand. We understand the need to reach beyond the ordinary and into the psyche of the client. We know that creating something unique is more than just a logo; it creates an experience and an emotional connection.

“All our drinks are blended and carefully crafted to embody and convey brand values…”

All our drinks are blended and carefully crafted to embody and convey brand values… Not just in look and feel, but through taste and sensation. Our goal is to create an experience that becomes truly memorable… Developing a bespoke product is much more than designing a label: creating a unique work of art.

It’s not about slapping labels on some bottles you already had, then?
No, not at all. It’s about collaboration with clients and wine and drinks makers to ensure that all products are bespoke, top quality, and genuinely memorable in style and taste. That’s paramount. Then it’s about telling a compelling, true story… We’re adaptive and flexible in capturing and mastering our client’s vision. We never compromise on the prestige of the brand, the quality, or the customer experience. The team at Eminent Wines continues to work hard through marketing, building relationships, PR campaigns to drive the reach of these critical messages.

Going back to your latest launch – The Royal British Legion – this doesn’t seem like an obvious partnership for a collection of champagne. How did it come about?
2021 is the year that our partners at the Royal British Legion celebrate an incredible 100 years of supporting the Armed Forces community. As a fitting tribute to their work and dedication, it’s been Eminent Wines absolute pleasure to collaborate with the Royal British Legion to create three exceptional champagnes to toast this centenary – known as the RBL 100 Champagne range.

So, how did Eminent Wines come to join forces with the Royal British Legion in its centenary year? A couple of years ago, I supported a Poppy Ball in London and became further informed of the work carried out by the Royal British Legion. Through initial discussions in early 2020, I became aware of just how much impact the Covid-19 pandemic has had on RBL’s Poppy Appeal.

Jerome J. Jacober, Eminent Wines
Oh, gosh… I can’t even imagine. What’s the damage there?

Two years ago, Royal British Legion raised £50 million at the Poppy Appeal. In 2020, due to Covid-19, it was just £24 million. Last year, the Royal British Legion switched to online donations, merchandise sales, and virtual Poppy runs with no face-to-face fundraising.

“I was only too willing to find a way to support them and boost their fundraising.”

And presumably, then, you realised you could help?
I was only too willing to find a way to support them and boost their fundraising in their centenary year with the RBL 100 Champagne range. In creating three bespoke cuvées of Champagne Jacober, Eminent Wines can celebrate RBL’s 100-year milestone while raising much-needed funds for this worthy cause.

And what does that range comprise? Don’t be shy here; let’s give it a damn good plug!
Great! The three champagnes are a Brut, Rosé, and Blanc de Blanc. The Reveille – Brut – is £45.00 per bottle. The Champs de Fleurs – Rosé – £55.00 per bottle… And the Centurion – Blanc de Blanc is £55.00 per bottle. 10% from the sale price of every bottle sold goes to the Royal British Legion. And if purchasing a bottle of each Champagne Brut, Rosé, and Blanc de Blanc, a total of £10.00 goes to the Royal British Legion.

Jerome J. Jacober, Eminent Wines
What was the most significant challenge bringing this to market?

Unfortunately, the country was still under Covid-19 restrictions on 15 May 2021, so the initial launch event to mark this day couldn’t go ahead. Eminent Wines and the Royal British Legion soft-launched the limited range of the RBL 100 Champagne Range on 15 May 2021 – the date 100 years ago The Royal British Legion began.

There was a bit of buzz about it though, was there not?
Yes. A number of celebrities were sent a bottle of the RBL 100 Champagne. They kindly posted a video clip on their social media platform to raise a glass to toast the Royal British Legion centenary.

And did those celebrations continue and did those celebrations get a second wind as restrictions lifted?
To some extent, yes. On 26 June, with restrictions slowly lifting, the Royal British Legion marked Armed Forces Day with an actual ‘live’ champagne tasting for veterans to enjoy. It was an exceptional tasting event for veterans at the Heswall RBL Club in the Wirral.

Jerome J. Jacober, Eminent Wines
You were there in person?

Yes – I guided the veterans through the champagne tasting. The veterans thoroughly enjoyed sampling the trio of RBL 100 Champagnes… Of note the Centurion, which resonated the most with the veterans in raising a glass to toast the centenary of the Royal British Legion.

If people are interested in tying in with you, where can they learn more?
It needs to be a conversation to understand your bespoke and unique requirements – please get in touch with me at [email protected] or call +44 (0) 207 419 5058

Terrific! Thank you Jerome, for your time and insight. Absolutely fascinating. Before we wrap things up, let me ask you this… What’s the one question I haven’t asked you that I should have?
“What brand inspires you?” Or maybe “Who inspires you?”

Great question! And what would be the answer?
My inspiration is John Paul Dejoria, the well-known American entrepreneur and philanthropist… He created the first premium Tequila brand – Patron – under the Patron Spirits company. He also created the Paul Mitchell line of hair products. As a good friend of Roger Daltrey, John Paul worked with on the Roger Daltrey Champagne…

The Patron Tequila has become the top tequila brand. Still, it’s also about what they are giving back – the Patron Tequila brand has teamed up with Annabel’s of London to plant a million trees by 2023 in the Brazilian Rainforest… This commitment and an ethical drive around a brand – that’s what inspires me.

Brilliant answer! Jerome, what a pleasure to tie in. Thank you so much.

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