(The winemaker selects the speakers and adjusts the volume)
Just something going through my head for the past few weeks. I have been thinking a lot about "varietal correctness". Some of the wines we''ve made, might be a stretch of typicity, but are they still what they are? (If not, did we let them off the hook?)
But that all gets me thinking about this in terms of music-- I think of jazz banjo, something that on paper sounds nuts, stupid even. Until you hear Bela Fleck
Now the words "jazz banjo" still sound funny, but whether you like it or not, there is something already there- A music that is simply expressed by the instrument rather than created by it. At it's greatest, banjo stops being banjo, and becomes music.
We are a long way from Bela Fleck, but these are the things that keep me up at night when I start thinking of 12.2% semi-carbonic Mourvèdre.
Does your winery's digital strategy look and taste like this?
A digital sales channel should not be centered around a dumping ground where you liquidate wines that you can not sell direct to consumer or via traditional distribution channels. I have nothing against sites that offer (sometimes tremendous) wines for huge discounts, and nothing against using this as an optional channel, but using deep discounting at the core only reinforces that buying online is where you get "steals" versus something of greater value.
What if you turned this strategy around? Instead of selling online what you can not sell offline, why not sell online what you can not even buy offline? BUT- it must be something of greater quality, less quantity /more scarcity, made with greater care, and something well worth the effort to both your most loyal and up and coming customers.
Beyond sales, the reward might be the building of a community of consumers and advocates who are able to easily share and communicate with each other, and with their external social communities. At the same time, interacting directly with the winery. While doing this, the winery exceeds customer expectations in both product and service, strengthens online presense and DTC sales, reinforces winery branding, and the business could easily track and measure their efforts.
A few ideas:
-A joint project between your winemaker and his or her favorite winemaker.
-A cuvee from a special block, or something of specific place. Not something from the sea of swill.
-A move out of your comfort zone, (but not that tank of Charbonno-nay that you infused with Durian while tring to corner the market in SE Asia).
-A wine in tribute / offering to something meaningful.
-and, something from a packaging standpoint that shows it was made with the greatest of care / love.
This isn't about including a pamphlet that looks like a luxury car brochure, sticking the oakiest lot in the heaviest bottle, having some smoke and mirrors packaging, or putting your priciest wine in a restrictive channel. It is about exceeding expectations and developing a meaningful outlet for what makes you... the most you.
In an exhaustive course of online studies, extensive surveys, focus groups, ride-withs, hidden camera recordings, and peer group role playing, we found several truths (that can be backed up with a sweet infographic, if we had a millennial on staff to make one) about marketing wine to millennials.
1. If you are worried about marketing wine to millennials, you make too much wine.
2. If you think you do not make too much wine- What is wrong with it, and why aren’t your “normal" (aka non-Millennial) consumers currently buying it all?
3. If you have the money to “target” millennials now, chances are extremely high that you won’t be their wine of choice when they have the increased spending power that you are banking on. Your great new brand's will seem like what they drank when at their low point in wine drinking. Any other brands corporate connection, will be painfully linked to the time they woke up on the floor with all of their furniture stolen, after an all day binge on your “Oak St. City Park Proprietary Red Blend (it has way more flavor)” and pharmaceuticals, when they thought it was a great idea to invite people in off the street to watch Sha Na Na DVDs.
We asked Millennial wine consumer, Baxter “Bax” Newman “In 5 years, will you be drinking the same wines? “
“For real? I better not be. I’ll probably be your BOSS!” -Baxter “Bax” Newman
With yesterday's big news of Facebook's billion dollar acquisition of Instagram, it made me realize that I've posted way more content on Instagram in the past year vs my blog or twitter. And that only a fraction of my instagram shots are shared to twitter or facebook. I won't try to create any theory or breakdown of instagram as a social media tool, with the exception of it being fun, and having a strong international community (where language is less of an issue)- Perhaps that is enough.
If you are on instagram, I am at username dirtysouthwine. I look forward to connecting with you there.
102.19 Angry Monkey Riding a Hungry Chicken. Now that's some goooood shiz!
From a distance, it may seem odd to call Petrus "a breath of fresh air", but this year, Petrus was my top spot in terms of both wine and overall experience. En Primeur is filled with weird vibes. Chateau tastings are a bit longer than speed dating (30 min or so). These can be either awkwardly silent, or uncomfortable as you listen to an owner, technical director, or some dude in an uncomfortably tight suit, tell you about "sophistication,elegance and concentration", while you are trying to evaluate a barrel sample that may be concentrated, but as pleasing and elegant as getting beaten by post-apocolyptic, hobo-savages.
Petrus is none of that. It is warm. A place you'd almost want to linger, even though there are no grand sights or views. From what I tasted of the 2011- It was one of the few wines, that at this stage, had true balance, and was not an over-extracted mouth of bitter, chocolate flavored, sawdust, sprinkled with kiddie crack (aka pixie stix).