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Heard It Through the Grapevine

April 16, 2013 CULTURE|shock, Featured 1 Comment

Wine Sales Grow on Social Networks

By Marisa D’Vari

What music would go best with this wine? As incredible as it sounds, the marketing folks at Wente Winery are drawing people to their winery by creating fun events exploring the connection between wine and popular music. These events are quickly turned into audio and video downloads available on their website, sent out to their Facebook Friends and made available as Twitter tweets.

Social Media is the new name of the game in wine marketing, a multi-billion dollar business with competition between brands, especially in the affordable under $20 category, quite fierce. Though all groups are receptive to social media messages, the wineries are specifically targeting the 77 million strong Millennial generation (21 – 32) who, they hope, will take the place of the similar-sized Boomer generation. Unlike the Boomer generation, Millennials are very responsive to trying a wide variety of wines, and have proven to be quite discriminating. A study commissioned by the Wine Market Council suggests that in comparison to their elders, Millennials like to ask questions about wine, try exotic new regions and pride themselves on their familiarity with specific vineyards.

Research also has proven that wine bloggers are more influential to the Millennial age group than professional and respected critics such as Robert Parker, despite the reality that few bloggers have serious wine credentials. Still, it’s true that wine is a very subjective experience. Often, the reason for wine bloggers’ popularity is not necessarily their own viewpoints, but that their blogs provide the stimulus for a discussion about wine. At the moment, Wine Blogging Wednesdays is a monthly event in which bloggers all buy the same wine, then post their tasting notes. The activity is fun, educational and social. Many people never meet their “Internet friends” in person, yet feel connected with them. This connection is a crucial ingredient of why social media is working and why wineries need to reach as many people as possible through social media and make them feel they are part of the club.

Social Media in the form of Twitter, Facebook, YouTube videos, and blogging is already here, yet in the next few years will become more popular, more focused, and with much more two-way interaction. The next step would be some sort of invention based on the “scratch and sniff” insert of perfume in magazines, whereas consumers could smell a wine’s aroma through the Internet and, if the consumer finds the aroma agreeable, could click a button and buy it on the spot. While technology already allows users on very sophisticated websites to click on a vineyard and learn about its soil, aspect, microclimate, etc., this will be the standard, soon. Perhaps wineries could also construct winemaker holograms that could emerge from the computer screen and give an ‘in-person’ lecture about the wines on demand.

Yet, no matter how high tech and sci-fi wine marketing becomes in the future, one thing is for certain: appreciation and enjoyment of wine is all about what is in the glass.

Fine Wine Writer Marisa DÂ’Vari, AIWS, CSW is publisher of the online magazine http://www.awinestory.com, Wine & Spirits Editor for Taste Magazine Cincinnati, NY Wine Pairing Examiner for the national online newspaper NY Examiner for Smart Wine Plus (formerly Wine Investor’s Buyer’s Guide) in addition to syndicating her weekly column to a variety of newspapers, magazines, newsletters, and blogs.

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Currently there is "1 comment" on this Article:

  1. This doesn’t surprise me. Who doesn’t like wine.

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