Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Quick Response to Wine Trends and Cult Disasters

Here is my comment in response to a blog post at Think Wine Marketing, which is available at this link...
http://thinkwinemarketing.wordpress.com/2009/07/09/the-wake-up-call-2/#comment-291

Well done piece. I have been saying (I work in the wine business) for the past six months to my clients (and anyone else that will listen) that however much we do not like the downturn, the lower sales, the backed up inventory, etc – that this will actually be a good thing (for wine consumption/the wine consumer and the wine industry as a whole) in the longer term. There has been a resetting of reality (your term is consumer modification) when it comes to buying wine – just as (one can hope) there has been a resetting of the unstoppable-American-consumer. You mention that savings are up, Amex charges are down – would this be a longer trend where Americans actually learn to live within their means rather than well beyond, we will all be better of. Would the American wine consumer learn to enjoy their wines, especially wines that are affordable and available on a daily basis – we would be a healthier, wealthier and friendlier nation. People are looking at new wines in new (lower) price-points and this means that the demand for wines that a few years ago would have a marginal market are now getting good attention. We are expanding our horizons beyond the ordinary, looking for the value, looking for what’s new and different because we have gotten away from the belief that price is the primary factor indicative of quality. I look at this downturn and see the effect on the wine business and culture in this country as benefiting from less “cult” wines. We all (should) know that less is more. Less wannabe cult wines means that the true cult wines (and there still are a few) will perhaps get their mojo back, and it will be more fun to find them once again. I would also point out that years ago cult did not always equate to 3 digit prices. Cult referred to rare and hard to find wines that had a legendary (or cult) following because they were Grrreat! Just because you can produce a wine that supposedly sells for $300 doesn’t mean that you should.

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