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Marketing Wine to Women


pattimw
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I don't necesssarily disagree with you but . . .

"I am not sure that the generalizations and stereotypes of ten or more years ago apply today."

Maybe not as much as ten years ago, but I think they are still valid today.

"In my experience a high powered, self assured, confident man-- or woman is often an asshole."

Because I work in Government where there are many, many women who work in high level jobs, I know many high powered, self assured, confident women (Heck, I'm married to one) and while some of them are as you describe, the vast majority are not.

"Wines like Fat Bastard, Red Bicyclette and Yellowtail are battling for the five to fifteen dollar price range--that is everyday drinking wines. One may be critical of any or all of them but they are certainly not "plonk."

Yes they are. But everyone has their own definition of plonk. Personally I don't particularly like any of these three, but I will admit that for what they are, they are quite good, not 2 Buck Chuck by any stretch of the imagination.

"Wine making methods have improved today so that there are many very good wines from France -vin du pays and Italy (especially some very interesting whites), Spain even Germany is starting to produce some really nice rieslings--all around ten bucks on shelves in this country.

I have also started to see some interesting well made wines from Eastern Europe."

Agreed, but they still don't hold a candle to most classified growths or the hand crafted Pinots or Cabs from CA.

"Also fine wine and cost are two different things--more so today than ever."

Agreed, I can't stand Opus One, but love the wonderful Pinots I buy from Brian Loring, Radio-Coteau, A.P. Vin, Kosta-Brown, etc., for less than $50 a bottle.

As one obcessed with wine, but who does not spend hundreds of $$s on a single bottle, I know a lot of folks just like me. While some of them are women, and are definitely extremely knowledgable about wine, the vast majority of them are men. But then, we all admit to being wine "geeks."

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Agreed, I can't stand Opus One, but love the wonderful Pinots I buy from Brian Loring, Radio-Coteau, A.P. Vin, Kosta-Brown, etc., for less than $50 a bottle.

Dinwiddie, it's interesting that you note some of the top-rated producers of pinot noir in California. Obviously you know your way around the artisanal productions. Do you feel that women agree with these tastes? I find myself to be very picky about pinot noir, although I love the grape. I don't like an extracted cabalicous style, but I also gravitate away from light, acidic pinots. I like this mysterious, otherworld pinot experience of dark color, but gypsy fruit--something that has zing--a little acidity, a lot of sass. What would you recommend?

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Agreed, I can't stand Opus One, but love the wonderful Pinots I buy from Brian Loring, Radio-Coteau, A.P. Vin, Kosta-Brown, etc., for less than $50 a bottle.

Dinwiddie, it's interesting that you note some of the top-rated producers of pinot noir in California. Obviously you know your way around the artisanal productions. Do you feel that women agree with these tastes? I find myself to be very picky about pinot noir, although I love the grape. I don't like an extracted cabalicous style, but I also gravitate away from light, acidic pinots. I like this mysterious, otherworld pinot experience of dark color, but gypsy fruit--something that has zing--a little acidity, a lot of sass. What would you recommend?

Actually I only named some ofthe PNs that I have allocations for. I tend to collect them because my wife loves them (as do I) and will always agree to me opening one from the cellar (unlike when I want to open a Cabernet or a Bordeaux). Actually as much as I like some of the things coming out of the Santa Lucia Highlands, I really love the big Russian River Valley/Sonoma Coast PNs.

If I understand you preference properly, I'd recommend the Radio-Coteau Savoy, some of the Gary's Vineyard designates, say Siduri or A.P. Vin, that are not made in the over the top style (as opposed to the ROAR Gary's or even the Loring) or something like the Domain Drouhin from Oregon. Actually I like many of the wines Adam Lee is making at Siduri, and he makes a ton of different ones, and I think they will only get better as they age. Some of them should be to your taste, though many will be much to "big" for you I would think.

I can't say whether or not women agree with these tastes, but I can say that I have never had any of my sisters, sisters-in-laws or friends wives every say that they didn't love the big Pinots that I've opened for them. Actually, I think that they enjoy them but as their palates become more educated, they tend to have a greatter appreciation for the more Burgandian style that is less "big wine" and more subtle and elegant.

Edited by dinwiddie (log)
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  • 3 weeks later...

Divas Uncorked New Female Wine Innovators

Past generations of uptight oenophiles have made the world of wine seem intimidating and uninviting. Enter Divas Uncorked and a new generation of female wine innovators who are convinced that women should be educated consumers that are just as capable of touting knowledge of vintage and varietal, minus the attitude. This contemporary cohort of female entrepreneurs—wine makers, store owners, authors—realizes and respects that women constitute the largest part of the wine consumer market,

Is anyone familiar with Divas Uncorked? :rolleyes:

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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And now we have the Bottle of the Sexes:

Winemakers Pitch Macho Merlot for Men

Wine, especially the higher-end vintages, has long been considered a man's world. But the people behind the Ray's Station campaign say there's an overlooked audience in the backyard barbecuer and NASCAR fan who enjoys wine but hasn't made a hobby of it.

Ray's Station is selling a merlot and cabernet sauvignon both priced at about $15 and made mostly with grapes from hillside vineyards where the vines have to struggle to survive, producing richer fruit that adds heft to the flavors.

The wines are packaged simply with a label bearing the outline of a galloping stallion. The accompanying tongue-in-stubbled-cheek ad campaign features the winery's namesake, Sonoma County pioneer John G. Ray, and such masculine pursuits as fishing and hunting.

One ad shows a hunter at sunset, dog by his side, with the copy "John G. Ray did not serve pinot noir," a sly dig at the varietal adored by wine sophisticates.

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Dum dum de dum Dum de dum de dum de dum . . .

These wines were made at Brown-Forman's Valley Oak winery in Hopeland, Mendocino County. More than 200,000 cases were ordered within two weeks of the product announcement, but now production has ceased.

Some wine reviewers gave the wines some passing marks when tasted blind. One reviewer guessed that the dry, tart style (necessary to get the low carb/low sugar levels) might not play well to the American palate that talks "dry", but likes "sweet".

From Jen's Cincinnati Wine Warehouse blog.

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I am a slave to marketing. It's pathetic. I have bought the "White Lie" - I'd give it a 'meh' rating, not great, not terrible, totally not memorable, all about packaging. I've also bought the "Seven Deadly Sins" Cabernet and the one with the Bosch-esque images of hell or demons on the label. I can't help it, weird packaging draws me in every time.

-Sounds awfully rich!

-It is! That's why I serve it with ice cream to cut the sweetness!

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I'm with Corina Zappia; it's insulting to women. I also think it's funny that Jennifer Weiner is the spokesperson for this diet wine, since she makes a point of being unapologetically plus-size.

In my opinion the name is doubly ironic because it's a dumb diet idea. To cut calories, just drink less wine that tastes better. Or if you really want an alcoholic drink with no additonal sugars, you can make a spritzer with lemon vodka or something. But no, this is another product made to make people feel like they are being virtuous.

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Dum dum de dum Dum de dum de dum de dum . . .
These wines were made at Brown-Forman's Valley Oak winery in Hopeland, Mendocino County. More than 200,000 cases were ordered within two weeks of the product announcement, but now production has ceased.

Some wine reviewers gave the wines some passing marks when tasted blind. One reviewer guessed that the dry, tart style (necessary to get the low carb/low sugar levels) might not play well to the American palate that talks "dry", but likes "sweet".

From Jen's Cincinnati Wine Warehouse blog.

This is a bit of a "side" issue and may be appropriate for its own thread but......

"...the American palate that talks dry but likes "sweet."

I wish so called "wine reviewers" would stop talking about things like the "American palate."

It would be nice if they offered some support to back up these silly statements.

If the American palate liked sweet--then riesling would be selling a lot more than it does here.

What patent nonsense!

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I'm with everyone that finds this insulting. It's even more insulting than thinking we're drawn to labels with critters on them or forms of transportation and colors.

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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Of Wine and Women in the April 10 issue of Time speaks to women wine collectors, a growing segment at auctions and high end wine shops. Seems we ladies tend to be more frugal and don't look to lie down the bottles for decades.

Sounds just like most of the sensible wine loving women I know... :smile:

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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I think the problem people are having here isn't so much with "marketing wine to women" as with "marketing wine" period.

I think you have hit the proverbial nail on the proverbial head.

If "Madison Avenue" thought that there was a wine market (or any other market) for one eyed, one horned, flying, purple people eaters there would be a wine specifically marketed to them. Luckily for "Madison Avenue" there are just enough folks who fall for their marketing schemes to make them work and inundate us--the public--w/ every type imagineable.

in loving memory of Mr. Squirt (1998-2004)--

the best cat ever.

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I think the problem people are having here isn't so much with "marketing wine to women" as with "marketing wine" period.

I think you have hit the proverbial nail on the proverbial head.

If "Madison Avenue" thought that there was a wine market (or any other market) for one eyed, one horned, flying, purple people eaters there would be a wine specifically marketed to them. Luckily for "Madison Avenue" there are just enough folks who fall for their marketing schemes to make them work and inundate us--the public--w/ every type imagineable.

"Women for Winese (www.womenforwinesense.org) has been eduating women on the topic of wine in focused but fun monthly programs held through-out the US. I am the National President (volunteer) and can speak highly of the quality of the programs and equally highly of a wonderful sense of community that is developmed in the course of leaning about wine. Leslie was a board meber of the Napa Sonoma Chapter. We will be holding the first National Women's Wine Competition directly addressing the preferences of women wine drinkers. More on this as it developes. This organization has been around since 1990. We ahve Chapters through-out the US.

The women I know take wine appreciation very seriouly, wanting to increase their knowledge and meet other wine lovers. They appreciate learning in a primarily female environment. Their preferences for certain wines is not apparently different from male counterparts, but I have noticed that ultra fruit forward or tannic wines are generally not the most favored. Nor are sweet wines, that are not supposed to be sweet. Balance and finesse seem to be apprciated over power. But this will be more apparent when we complete our competition. I have just released my first wines and have noticed that women are particulariy drawn to them, as the tannins are very supple and the nose extremely fragrant. Women always comment on this supple character more than men do. "

G

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Welcome to eGullet GabrielleL! Looking forward to your perspective added into the mix here.

Can you tell us more about your wines and your winery? And thank you for the link for Women for Wine Sense. Sound like my kinda women. I'm looking into starting a Philadelphia chapter. I've already e-mailed all the wine interested women I know. :smile:

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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It's interesting to see how the business will change. My fiancee worked in wine and spirits, two of NY well known retail establishments, and then several distributors before we pushed ahead and got her store opened. It's a hard business for women in many ways. It's been an ole boys network for so long, especially in the states.

Until we got some notoriety, she would often get blown off at industry events. Now it's a different story, but it wasn't an easy trip.

She's even put together a section of the store dedicated to women in the wine business, but it's still a relatively small section, and forget about women in the whiskey business :smile: Although we're trying to change that one woman at a time.

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It's interesting to see how the business will change. My fiancee worked in wine and spirits, two of NY well known retail establishments, and then several distributors before we pushed ahead and got her store opened. It's a hard business for women in many ways. It's been an ole boys network for so long, especially in the states.

Until we got some notoriety, she would often get blown off at industry events. Now it's a different story, but it wasn't an easy trip.

She's even put together a section of the store dedicated to women in the wine business, but it's still a relatively small section, and forget about women in the whiskey business  :smile: Although we're trying to change that one woman at a time.

My experience reflects something quite different.--at least here in NY.

Today--there are may women in the "business" from wine makers to wholesale representatives to sommelier's to retail to writers etc.

There are more women than men enrolled in classes at the International Wine Center (which incidentally, is run by a woman, also the majority of instructors are women).

I would say things are far from "hard" for women.

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It's interesting to see how the business will change. My fiancee worked in wine and spirits, two of NY well known retail establishments, and then several distributors before we pushed ahead and got her store opened. It's a hard business for women in many ways. It's been an ole boys network for so long, especially in the states.

Until we got some notoriety, she would often get blown off at industry events. Now it's a different story, but it wasn't an easy trip.

She's even put together a section of the store dedicated to women in the wine business, but it's still a relatively small section, and forget about women in the whiskey business  :smile: Although we're trying to change that one woman at a time.

My experience reflects something quite different.--at least here in NY.

Today--there are may women in the "business" from wine makers to wholesale representatives to sommelier's to retail to writers etc.

There are more women than men enrolled in classes at the International Wine Center (which incidentally, is run by a woman, also the majority of instructors are women).

I would say things are far from "hard" for women.

We are in NY, and sure it's gotten better. She came to NY because it was the best place to get a shot at getting into the biz, but there still is bias. Try dealing with folks in Bordeuax. Still pretty old school.

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It's interesting to see how the business will change. My fiancee worked in wine and spirits, two of NY well known retail establishments, and then several distributors before we pushed ahead and got her store opened. It's a hard business for women in many ways. It's been an ole boys network for so long, especially in the states.

Until we got some notoriety, she would often get blown off at industry events. Now it's a different story, but it wasn't an easy trip.

She's even put together a section of the store dedicated to women in the wine business, but it's still a relatively small section, and forget about women in the whiskey business  :smile: Although we're trying to change that one woman at a time.

My experience reflects something quite different.--at least here in NY.

Today--there are may women in the "business" from wine makers to wholesale representatives to sommelier's to retail to writers etc.

There are more women than men enrolled in classes at the International Wine Center (which incidentally, is run by a woman, also the majority of instructors are women).

I would say things are far from "hard" for women.

We are in NY, and sure it's gotten better. She came to NY because it was the best place to get a shot at getting into the biz, but there still is bias. Try dealing with folks in Bordeuax. Still pretty old school.

You noted the "old boys network especially here in the states."

That is basically what I was questioning. Your point about Bordeaux indicates something quite different.

(I would tend to agree with you there).

In the US for quite a while now--women have been fairly well integrated into the wine and liquor business from grower to wine maker to wholesale to retail and writers and educators etc etc etc. (the beer business is an exception).

yes-at one time things were different.--agreed.

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Women have made impressive inroads into the wine industry, but there are still crumbling edifices of the old boy network guarding the inner sanctum. There is a distributorship in Los Angeles that will not hire women. No women. Ever. A few of the women who applied there now work for my boutique distributor and are doing a great job for us. My boutique distributor, who is a woman, also hired a gentleman of color, which caused a ripple effect of gasping and gossip among our competitors, as I just found out on Saturday. I was shocked, and frankly, amused that in a town as trendy as LA, where handsome and talented non-Caucasian actors are adored, there would be any reaction at all to having a non-C sales rep. That is how antiquated and entrenched the distributors are.

So the real point of all this is that you can imagine how distributors and the spirits consortiums (which often own large wineries) view women consumers. What? Women are buying 55% of the wine out there? Shit, we're out of pink wine! Give them some pink labels and flowers and crap, quick! :hmmm:

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Women have made impressive inroads into the wine industry, but there are still crumbling edifices of the old boy network guarding the inner sanctum.  There is a distributorship in Los Angeles that will not hire women.  No women.  Ever.  A few of the women who applied there now work for my boutique distributor and are doing a great job for us.  My boutique distributor, who is a woman, also hired a gentleman of color, which caused a ripple effect of gasping and gossip among our competitors, as I just found out on Saturday.  I was shocked, and frankly, amused that in a town as trendy as LA, where handsome and talented non-Caucasian actors are adored, there would be any reaction at all to having a non-C sales rep.  That is how antiquated and entrenched the distributors are.

So the real point of all this is that you can imagine how distributors and the spirits consortiums (which often own large wineries) view women consumers.  What?  Women are buying 55% of the wine out there?  Shit, we're out of pink wine!  Give them some pink labels and flowers and crap, quick!   :hmmm:

One can point to almost any industry and find "still crumbling edifaces..."

So there I agree.

However--in looking at the much bigger picture--the world of wine is anything but a "man's world."

We --in this thread--are guilty of generalizations and assumptions.

This initial comments by the fellow making that $28 Bordeaux blend targeted at women does the same.

He states that "people in Napa told me I was absolutely wrong...that women drink only white wine..cheap white wine..."

Yes many women do drink cheap white wine--so do many men.--cheap white wine sales are pretty significant--somebody is drinkin and buyin it!

Somebody is also drinking and buying $28 Bordeaux blends--a lot of this type of wine is sold as well!

A marketer has to target the proper segment for his/her product and the advertising and marketing he/she employs better do a good job in effectively reaching that target audience or that product won't be around long (the ad agency has a lot less time to prove themselves).

we all feel that we here are sophisticated folks who are pretty immune to advertising.

we are wrong (to varying degrees).

This isn't a male female thing--look at a decidedly male area--beer. Some beer is targeting a very broad market of twenty somethings who are interested in--beer and girls--so what you get are ad messages that feature--girls.

Other beers are more narrowly targeted--fancy micro brews and belgian ales and...

the advertising--well--more subtle--targeting older (more wealthy) men.

Get the picture?

I refuse to look down on one group or another--one type of message vs another--they are what they are.

Same with this wine and women thing.

There are women who will respond to a product like Little White Lie (or whatever its called) there are other women who are interested in a $28 Bordeaux blend.

This is a fact of life--it is a bit snobbish (IMOP) to assume that someone who has less interest in what we would deem a "sophisticated" beverage than ourselves--is well....less sophisticated and therefore less of a person.

So if someone is "offended" by a product or the advertising--they probably won't respond positively and buy it--but then again--that person was not the intended target of the product and the message so just turn the magazine page and move on--you'll get to something that appeals to you sooner or later (or else you are reading the wrong magazine--but that's another issue altogether).

By the way--I looked through a few Wine Spectators--guess what--

the vast majority of wine ads are non gender specific (another faulty assumption on our part).

Lots of talk about how such and such wine goes with food and is fun to drink though.

I guess that covers the market most wine makers are looking to target--men and or women who eat and like to socialize!

Hey that's me!!!!!

Edited by JohnL (log)
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With the increase in wine consumers (at least in the U.S., for which much of this marketing trend is based), it is all about capitalizing on a consumer trend by marketing the hell out of it. It's ALL about the marketing and making the quick dollar while the market is still hot.

It would be great to have a before and after picture of wine bottles sitting on shelves as little as ten years ago compared with today. I think one would see a striking difference in bottle design and label design. And with a large majority of the market still buying wine on the day they are going to drink it, it's about the first sale.

We cannot employ the mind to advantage when we are filled with excessive food and drink - Cicero

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With the increase in wine consumers (at least in the U.S., for which much of this marketing trend is based), it is all about capitalizing on a consumer trend by marketing the hell out of it.  It's ALL about the marketing and making the quick dollar while the market is still hot.

It would be great to have a before and after picture of wine bottles sitting on shelves as little as ten years ago compared with today.  I think one would see a striking difference in bottle design and label design.  And with a large majority of the market still buying wine on the day they are going to drink it, it's about the first sale.

The more things change.....

The vast majority of wine is (and has always been) made for drinking immediately after the vintage.

Most people do not buy wine to cellar (most people do not have wine cellars).

Years ago there were plenty of marketing efforts--from Mouton putting artwork on their labels (with folks like Kenwood following suit) to Mouton Cadet, to Blue NUN and the rest of the Portugese wines in crocks. Riuniti, California Jug wines etc etc etc.

And that--flavored wine craze--Ripple--Passion Pink and....

Then there was the white zinfandel phenomena.

Marketing has been going on since the French devised the Bordeaux rankings.(maybe even before).

Today there is more competition--not long ago there were few or no wines available from the Pacific Northwest, or New Zealand or South Africa (apartheid etc) Australia, South America (I am sure I am missing a country or two).

The selection from Europe was much smaller and less varied--look at Italy and Spain today vs ten or twenty years ago.

Even California was basically about jug wines and Chardonnay and Cabernet look at the variety today.

I believe that the sheer magnitude of competition for drinkers--casual to serious is simply amplifying the marketing that has always been around. It is more sophisticated--market segmentation etc. and wine makers/sellers et al are being forced to be smarter in their efforts--wine selling was much more passive long ago.

Today--wine marketers are competing for casual drinkers with a large and more savvy beer industry (the wine folks are catching up)--here in the US.

In France and much of Europe--the decline in local consumption is forcing wine makers to compete on a growing world market that no longer accepts their wines at face value as representing good quality.

It is a rapidly changing world today.

There is literally, something for every type of wine drinker--every market segment, if you will.

Some wines will be winners some losers and consumers will always come out ahead!

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