The Grapevine

Wine Shop Marketing – The Value of a Wine Cellar

February 3rd, 2016

Many of today’s popular wines – so-called New World wines – are built for immediate or near-immediate consumption. But that doesn’t mean that a wine cellar isn’t worthwhile. Here’s how to tie the value of a wine cellar into your wine shop marketing. [level-members]

First, remember that to some, a wine cellar everything we’re trying to avoid – snobbery, elitism, the need for wads of cash to spend – so you want to target your cellar-related marketing a bit more than you might with other marketing efforts.

Or, you can attack the issue head on with information along the lines of, “Cellaring Wine Isn’t for Everyone – But it Could Be.”

Whichever way you go, there is clearly a minimum investment that a customer needs to be willing to make in order to stock a cellar. It isn’t a price minimum per se – it’s more of a quality and style minimum – but there simply isn’t going to be very much if anything available at $10 a bottle that is cellarable.

The idea that drives the value of cellaring wine is captured pretty eloquently by James Laube in a recent issue of Wine Spectator: A wine cellar “affords you the unique opportunity to evaluate wine over time.”

As they work through the journey from casual wine sipper to crazed wine aficionado, most people begin to look beyond the bottle. They want to explore the reasons for what happens in the bottle – things like terroir, winemaking techniques, agricultural techniques, and the effects of time on the results of those realities. A cellar creates the opportunity to see that play out in more controlled terms if you stock your cellar intelligently – with verticals or a focus on a particular varietal or two, or a particular region or two.

In fact, you might consider starting a “cellar program” of your own by buying and storing wines, or seeking them from distributors, that allow you to put together limited runs of tastings across some of the variables mentioned above. The innate scarcity can be a great marketing advantage, and the program can have the added benefit of creating even more passion among your most passionate customers without cellars of their own.