A Matter of Taste?

January 30, 2013

File this one under “Too Much Time Stuck in LA Traffic and Does Budweiser Know the Implication of Their Ad?:”

Like Budweiser, who produces 47% of all beer sold in the US, mega-wine companies are in a pitched battle everyday for the wallet of the consumer (the heart, mind, and tastebud rarely factor into this pursuit). And because the amount of shelf space in the big chains is limited, mega wine companies (the top 6 wine companies account for more than 80% of wine sold in the US) often buy small wineries to “add” more space to the shelves (Mirassou Vineyards increased the number of Gallo facings in 2002). What is important is the Nielsen scan data not the integrity of the brand or the way the wine actually tastes. We all do have to actually sell wine, ultimately.

Part of me is in awe of the crassness of the whole exercise as embodied by Budweiser’s campaign. The tagline: “Taste Makes an Entrance….” So, up to this point, we can infbudweiser-black-crowner that all of the other Bud beers had no taste (the other possibility, if we are thinking qualitatively, is that they tasted of sh*t).  It is rare that a company comes right out and says, “hey, this stuff tastes like crap, but look at the shiny new bottle.” Awesome.

And speaking of taste…in this case good and educated being the operative words, Joe Roberts, the blogger extraordinaire behind 1winedude.com, shares some thoughts about a few La Rochelle wines here and Steven Kent wines here.

2 Responses to “A Matter of Taste?”

  1. So when a company like Keystone uses a tag line like “The Least Bitter Beer,” we can infer that it has not taste at all? I would agree. With big wine companies, I find myself shying away from them due to the feeling of being overwhelmed by the volume of their offerings. Since I am unlikely to travel their facility to taste the wines, I would just as soon stick with a smaller winery and “miss out” on all that Gallo has to offer.

    • Thanks for the comment Michele. I think a relationship with a brand you trust is the only real guarantee of quality. There are many wines from “great” appellations that aren’t very good, and – conversely – good ones from appellations that don’t get the credit they should.


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