The Grapevine

Keeping Up with the Joneses – and the Market

July 14th, 2015

As the market for wine grows beyond the (outdated and untrue) stereotype of the country club set, there’s opportunity to stake out new ground. [level-members]

The old story goes that as wine drinkers mature they move on from Bordeaux to Burgundy. That was probably never true, though certainly many people have made that transition. It’s even less true now, in large part because there is so much greater a diversity of wines available, and greater interest in wines beyond Bordeaux, Burgundy and other “major” wine regions of the world.

A smart shop owner can take advantage of this by both increasing the number of labels you carry from lesser-known regions and encouraging your customers to try something new. This can be as “safe” a choice as, say, a nearby appellation in Italy or as exotic as wines from Lebanon.

The underlying principle is to stay on top of trends in the market so that you aren’t the last guy selling a formerly popular varietal. Ideally, you’re the first to sell something new, but that comes with its own risks. (Who could have foreseen the meteoric rise of rosés over the past few years, even among consumers old enough to remember the truly awful stuff that used to be “pink wine?”)

Stay current with the market, ignore what the Joneses are doing, and carve your own path by stocking wines that you can build some excitement around for your customers. Encouraging enthusiasm is as good for you as it is fun for them.