The Grapevine

What’s In a Bottle: The Wine, The Label, The Story

December 16th, 2015

As the Millennials, with their thirst for authenticity, mature into wine drinkers, it’s interesting to think about what really goes into a bottle of wine. [level-members]

I’m not talking so much about the juice itself, though that’s certainly important, but about everything that surrounds the juice.

The label matters of course, particularly at the lower end of the market where consumers are likely to be unfamiliar with all but the biggest of brands with the biggest of marketing budgets. But also for wines at higher price points, where the rules of labeling seem to be 180 degrees opposite – no cute rabbit illustrations or punny names. Serious and stolid are the order of the day.

And then there’s the story – we all love a good story, Millennials in particular, and marketers are learning to work that in new and interesting ways.

Sadly, the story sometimes overshadows the product. And sometimes perfectly acceptable wines are being made by corporate behemoths. They may not be anything particularly special, but they’re excellent examples of quaffable wines of their variety. And some are quite good value.

In other words, embrace the story – in each bottle, in what you stock overall and most importantly, in your shop – but don’t overlook the fact that the product has to match the story. The wine has to be good. Your shop has to excel at service and creating a personality. Otherwise, you’re in trouble: winter is upon us and if the emperor has no closes, he’s going to be very cold very soon. [/level-members]