Wine makers versus marketing

As the shop owner ask yourself; if an agent offers an item for sale which you believe does not offer customers value, would you still stock it? There can be reasons other than value and I recall brother Richard and I objected to a Lindeman’s product in the 1980s that combined fruit juice with wine in an attractive, brightly coloured ‘popper fruit box’ design which would have fooled underage drinkers.

Likely we accept that what a wine is worth is best left to the consumer. Still marketing departments are ever active and at least one motivation that drives them is to prove that their marketing concepts are more powerful than the work of the winemakers. Because of this, time and again, up pop wines which repackage good though average wines and offer them at double the price.

At times such concoctions annoyed me enough to refuse to stock them. I do accept that customers may recognise these wines for what they are yet find the concept novel enough to be worth the extra. Afterall the romance of wine runs deep and many wines with traditional images sell for far more than the contents of the bottle would suggest.

Still a product that increasingly annoys me is the Treasury wines concept of 19 Crimes. I would have stocked it on the bottom shelf in a back corner as having what customers want is important for retailers. Not though a huge display since it alters the tone of what I wanted my shops to stand for which on a fundamental level is the belief that what the winemaker produces ranks above what the marketing department produces.

19 Crimes is evolving quickly from early convict types to Snoop Dogg and now that all-round U.S. experience girl and teacher of how to live, Martha Stewart makes an appearance. I applaud having a go at 80 years though it would have been all too much for me so out the stock would go.

Yet I have a feeling there will be more to observe with this saga because as Treasury devalues the role of wine makers and thus the content in the bottle they may find the unseen forces of consumers react.

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