Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Wine Cliches

A funny article by Laurie Daniel in the San Jose Merc discusses "Wine Clich├ęs We Could Do Without". She lists:

  • Our wine is made in the vineyard
  • Our wines reflect the terroir.
  • We pick on flavors
  • We don't make our wines for critics
  • Our wines are hand-crafted

A good start. One of these phrases can be listed in nearly any back label, shelf talker, or point of sale material. Tom at Fermentations also recently mused on how difficult it can be for marketers to use original phrasing.

I agree. Phrases like "hand-crafted" are becoming as ubiquitous and meaningless as "Reserve". It takes some originality to create meaningful wine-marketing phrases when faced with a sea of mediocrity.

In my opinion, since most wines taste the same to consumers (now don't write me hate mails about your favorite Napa Chardonnay vs. $2 Chuck, I'm speaking in generalities here), the key is differentiation, rather than assimilation. Marketers and PR people need to learn to look "outside the box" (there's an original phrase!!) and differentiate their products by not parroting the crap on every other bottle. Read the back of a Smoking Loon label to see an example of a very successful brand that doesn't use ANY conventional wine phrases to sell its product. Cheers to Don Sebastiani and sons for breaking the mold.



Blogger VineSci said...

Here's a suggestion:

"Our wine comes from large areas of newly planted vineyards with completely mechanised practices. Must was freeze concentrated and spinning-cone distilled before fermentation in 1.2ML computer-controlled tanks. Wine was then micro-oxygenated, before being passed through a number of membrane separation techniques. The final product spent 6 months in stainless-steel tanks with inserted staves of carefully chosen French oak."


Most winemakers are way too hasty in attempting to disguise their use of technology. There's a whole lot of artisan, 'holier-than-thou', "natural", etc. pretense out there...

October 05, 2005 10:49 PM  

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