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When it was time to tell our story, our family vetted several Public Relations firms to search for one with political savvy and courage to stand up for the truth. Kimberly Charles and her team understood the politics that now surround food, and helped us navigate through hundreds of press requests to accurately convey the reality. The process was demanding, but the combination of Charles Communications’ attitude, passion and professionalism allowed us to accomplish our goal with smiles on our faces.
- The Gonzales Family
For SakéOne, Charles Communications has proven to be a savvy, dynamic navigator for both traditional and social media channels. They are particularly adept at converging our brand messaging with new PR opportunities in the beverage alcohol media world.
- Steve Vuylsteke
Sherryfest Grand Tasting
A dynamic, intuitive and knowledgeable team, Charles Communications has an incredible understanding of the wine world and its evolution. Experts in consumer marketing and communication, they understand how to improve our positioning in the overall wine world. We are proud to work together on both sides of the Atlantic.
- Jean Charles Boisset
We want to thank Charles Communications for the great job that they have done for Batasiolo wines. We’ve been able to be in front of journalists we’ve never expected, and this has helped the exposure of Batasiolo in the U.S.
- Ricardo March
Charles Communications has been instrumental in the launch of Bunnery Natural Foods. We’re a family-business based out of a small town, and CCA’s relationships and strategies have immensely helped us grow on a more national level. It’s been an honor and pleasure working with them, and we’re thrilled to see what they come up with next.
- Gerard Yvernault
We love working with CCA! Kimberly Charles has put together an experienced team that’s focused, connected and has its finger squarely on the pulse of the wine industry. They’ve been integral in helping our brand development, media relations and social media strategy. I strongly recommend CCA!
- Mark McWilliams
Kimberly Charles and the team at CCA always displayed the enthusiasm and creativity critical to achieving success in Public Relations. Their professionalism and relationships enabled them to move our brand in the desired direction and I look forward to working with CCA in the future.
- Paul J. Englert
Charles Communications is well respected in the wine industry as one of the leading public relations and communication consultants. Wente Family Estates became a client of CCA, and immediately saw the results and outreach they were able to achieve in multiple forms of media (print, broadcast and social). Kimberly and her team are creative, strategic and energetic in delivering our company’s public relations goals and needs. It has been a successful relationship and a pleasurable experience to work with them.
- Carolyn Wente
BOTTI nuove copy
We searched high and low for a marketing firm with deep experience in the food and beverage industry to handle public relations and media for our global series of wine events, Matter of Taste. Over the past year, the CCA team has done an outstanding job for us, providing valuable insights and media traction in each of our targeted markets, as well as introductions and connections beyond the scope of our work agreement. We are delighted with CCA and look forward to ongoing collaboration.
- Tobin Finegold
CCA’s well thought out strategic communications initiatives have provided us with successful campaigns that have generated incredible coverage and engagement with top-flight media, trade, industry and consumers. The strong relationships that the team has with key influencers have been critical in providing us with the opportunities to communicate our story. It is a pleasure to work with CCA and we appreciate the innovative and dedicated ethic that they bring to our relationship.
- Camron King

Charles Communications Associates

CCA is an independent creative marketing firm that employs traditional public relations and new media strategies to assist companies, organizations and non-profits in the creation, development and marketing of interesting and compelling brands. Recognized as one of the most effective PR firms in the wine industry, we have an exceptional track record of promoting products in the gourmet, natural and organic food and beverage categories, from wine and tea to top shelf spirits and luxury goods. We consider ourselves fortunate to work with clients who share our philosophy of social responsibility in work and everyday life.

In The News

Emeritus Vineyards Wins USA TODAY’s Best Winery Tour 2017
Emeritus Vineyards Wins USA TODAY’s Best Winery Tour 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Emeritus Vineyards | 707.823.9463 ...

The Juice

Can The Local Wine Shop Survive in the Age of Amazon?
As consumers continue to gravitate towards online wine deliveries, the recent Whole Foods Amazon deal calls the fate of small-scale wine shops to question.

All the Swirl

Corn Based Spirits
Corn Based Spirits

"Lend me your ear"

By: Samantha Davis

Corn, also known as maize, was first planted and domesticated by the Mayans and
other indigenous people of Southern Mexico around 9,200 years ago. Scholars
pinpoint the region to the Balsas River Valley, located in south-central Mexico. Here,
the temperate, subtropical climate and seasonal rains make for ideal ‘corn’ditions
for growing the crop.

Corn was cultivated throughout the Americas within two periods: 5,000 years ago
the crop spread through the highlands of the Andes and 2,000 years ago the crop
was introduced to the lowlands of South America. It was then brought to North
America via population migration around 2100 BC. After Spanish settlers arrived in
the States in the late 1400s, they brought corn back to Europe, where it was
introduced to other European countries and later spread to West Africa. As for Asia,
there is evidence that corn was abundant in India by the 13 th century.

Interestingly, corn is not a plant that can exist naturally in the environment- it must
be planted and conserved by humans for it to flourish. Because of its long history of
domestication, corn is now unable to independently reproduce.

Today, there are about 250 subspecies of corn throughout the world. However,
there are only five basic types from which these subspecies are derived- dent corn,
flint corn, popcorn, sweet or vegetable corn and waxy corn. Due to its ability to grow
in diverse climates, corn has become the most popular and widely grown crop in the
western hemisphere. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, U.S.
corn growers produced 15.1 billion bushels of corn in 2016.

Corn itself has had many uses throughout the years. It was produced on an
extremely large scale in early civilizations and was a primary component of diets.
While corn is still used as a food source for both humans and animals today, the bulk
of corn that is harvested does not go to food production. Instead, it is used to help
make items such as plastic, batteries, cosmetic and hygiene items, medicine and

While corn is important for nutrition and food, it is an equally important component
in liquor. Most, if not all, spirits are distilled from corn- namely bourbon, which is
classified as a whiskey and is a barrel-aged distilled spirit. Dubbed as “America’s
Native Spirit,” bourbon started appearing in the late 18 th century when a clergyman
named Elijah Craig shipped barrels of whiskey downriver from Bourbon County,
Kentucky to New Orleans. Instead of purchasing new barrels to ship the whiskey in,
Craig would clean and disinfect used fish barrels, made from American white oak, by
burning the insides of them. As the whiskey made its way down the river in a 90-day
trip, it would age in the charred oak, resulting in a distinct, smooth taste and reddish color. Those on the receiving end of this new spirit would then ask for “that whiskey
from Bourbon” and the name stuck.

Today, there are legal requirements for bourbon made for U.S. consumption. It must

  • Produced in the United States
  •  Made from a grain mixture of at least 51% corn
  •  Aged in charred oak barrels/uprights
  •  Distilled to no more than 80% alcohol by volume
  •  Put into the barrel for aging at no more than 62.5% alcohol by volume
  • Bottled at 40% alcohol or more

Bourbon is strongly associated with southern states, especially Kentucky. There is
also Tennessee whiskey, which is bourbon produced in Tennessee. The main
difference is that Tennessee whiskey is put through a charcoal filtering process.
According to the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, $3.1 billion was made
in the United States from sales of bourbon and Tennessee whiskey.

Other corn-based spirits include certain vodkas, a popular brand being Tito’s. Vodka
that is distilled from corn often has a sweeter aftertaste than those made with grains
such as wheat or rye. For a spirit to be labeled as “vodka” in the United States, it
must have a minimum alcohol content of 40%. Everclear is another spirit that is
made from corn; some types hone in at 190-proof, or 95% alcohol. Several states
have banned the drink due to its alcohol content, but it was awarded a silver medal
at this year’s SIP Awards for taste. Corn whiskey is made from at least 80% corn and
is marketed as the legal version of moonshine. This type of whiskey is usually
unaged and distilled to a maximum strength of 80% alcohol by volume.

There is also no shortage of corn infused cocktails, which have become popular in
the heat of the summer. Corn can be juiced, pureed or muddled and used to create
unique and flavorful cocktails. Here are a few interesting and delicious concoctions:

The Sweet Corn Coktail (Photo Courtesy of Serious Eats)

The Sweet Corn Coktail (Photo Courtesy of Serious Eats)


  • Sweet Corn Cocktail – This light drink combines sweet and milky corn kernels with rum to create a delicate drink with bold and bright flavors.
  • The Cornelia – This mezcal based cocktail is inspired by chilled corn soup and packs a slight punch.
  • The Yum Kaax – This one is fittingly named for the Mayan maize god and combines mezcal, lime and corn juice.
  • The Alma Blanca - This cocktail is infused with muddled corn kernels and habanero tequila for a one-of- a-kind flavoring.

Recipes courtesy of Serious





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