If that headline above looks as though it could have come right out of 2009… well, it totally could have come right out of 2009.
Remember those good ol’ days? When wine brands were all in a tizzy about a new wave on influencers (at that time, bloggers) operating almost exclusively online.
How do we interact with these new presences in the wine media world? How can we tell if they are legitimate? How do we know if they have any real wine knowledge? What kind of audience are they reaching – and is it the kind that we want to reach? What if they want free stuff? What if they’re just hacks? How can we measure the real impact of their influence? Should we send them samples? Should we invite them to taste? Should we work with the ones that want to charge us for exposure? Will working with them put us into hot water with more traditional wine media? How the hell do we find these young whipper-snappers, anyways?
For a time, the introduction of wine blogs and the further democratization of wine criticism and brand exposure splintered the wine media sphere, upended its apple-cart, made waves of anxiety for those who’d spent the last ten years feeling somewhat comfortable about how the whole wine media thing operated.
For a time.
And then… life went on, wine kept being sold and marketed (albeit in changing ways), and online social/blogging outreach became just part of what you do in wine brand PR. We adapted. We got through it. We figured it out, for the most part.
And so I do not understand why, in the ever-livin’ hell, WINE BRANDS AND PR SEEM TO BE REPEATING HISTORY AND BITCHING TO ME ABOUT HAVING TO FIGURE OUT HOW TO WORK WITH WINE INFLUENCERS ON INSTAGRAM…
Every year or so, I receive an unsolicited email blast from wine auction services that makes me want to Hulk rage. The 2019 incarnation of this comes my way from online auction house WineBid, is titled “16 Years of Burgundy vs. The Stock Market – and WineBid Auction Results,” and which I will only link to with the anchor text Probably Total Horseshit so as not to give them quite exactly the kind of organic social mention that they had in mind when they sent it.
In that WineBid article, which you probably shouldn’t bother reading, they make the claim that a report published by The Economist (using WineBid data) shows that “fine red Burgundy wine is a better investment by far than the stock market.”
Sorry, but that’s a steaming pile of horse crap of the tallest order.
Yes, they include cool-looking, impressive charts and lots of flowery language insinuating that if you love fine red wine then you’re an idiot for not considering it the world’s most impressive investment vehicle, so there’s that. But the problem is, well, that there are lots of problems with comparing the apples of proper investing to the oranges of owning fine wine, not to mention the issues with the report itself…
“Aficionados of “fine wine” may find …affordable, high-volume, big-brand bottlings too bold, too sweet, too simple, or not varietally representative. The wines aren’t made for those people. They’re made for specific, but very large. audiences, are made with intention, and made after considerable research and development by highly-trained people.”
My response today, on the other hand, will be neither level-headed nor even-handed, though hopefully it will be cogent enough for the detractors of industrial-scale wine to understand that they are acting like morons when they lash out against high-volume, low-cost wines as having no place in a modern wine market. The truth is that those high-volume, low-cost wines make up the majority of the fine wine market, and without them the high-end market would likely be in severe economic dire straights…
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