It’s Time for “Adventure Wine”

Constellation Brands is America’s largest wine company and, it seems, competing to become number one in the category of "Adventure Wines".

Yes, "Adventure Wines". This is the meaningless name Constellation has given to a category of wines their consumer research has told them seem "non-traditional" to wine drinkers. The giant company estimates that a full 25% of the American wine market is devoted to these Adventuresome bottlings.

Constellation has announced two new "Adventure Wines":

Three Blind Moose and Four Emus
3blindmoose  Fouremus

It’s unlikely that either of these wine could be identified by anyone as being from California or Australia, respectively. However, the origin of the wines, terroir, ageability and authenticity have nothing to do with these new brands. Rather, they are well-designed and well researched brands that have in every way been tested to appeal to the 25 – 35 year old drinker and slightly beyond. From the label, to the wine in the bottle, to the name of the brands, to the marketing, this wine is about case stacks at the end of aisles and about price point and about making sure consumers think about appearance rather than substance.

This is straightforward consumer brand marketing, along the lines of Clorox, Tide, Spam and  Pampers.

And Constellation Brands is very good at this sort of thing. 

What I find most interesting is their definitions, however: "Adventure Wines". Speaking with their public relations person I learned that this category of wines was developed in house based on consumer research. Constellation wanted to know how big the market was for wines that are bought almost completely on the appeal of a funny/unique/non-traditional looking label. Clearly YellowTail falls into this category. But, according to Constellation, so too does Ravenswood and Rancho Zabaco (Gallo).

It appears that another way to define "Adventure Wines" would be "Critter Wines. Ravenswood’ has hits bird, Rancho Zabaco has it’s bull, Yellowtail has its….and so on.

I think I would be a poor marketer for these type of $8.99 wines whose appeal stops with the glue on the label and the fruity goodness and unacidic wine in the bottle. I simply don’t have the the intellectual stamina to get excited about them or the wherewithal to feign excitement. That said, I do see their usefulness and appeal to some for whom wine is merely an alcoholic beverage and to a younger set that wants something "fun" to satisfy what appears to be an increasing desire to swallow wine rather than gin.

Posted In: Wine Business


4 Responses

  1. huge - September 14, 2005

    ” I learned that this category of wines was developed in house based on consumer research. ”
    BWAHAHAHA……That’s beyond arrogance. The category was developed by Yellow Tail, Rex Goliath, Three Thieves, etc. Gallo, Constellation, Beringer, K-J and the other corporate giants are not innovators, they’re just ripping off those that created the category.

  2. Tom Wwark - September 14, 2005

    I probably miswrote. I should have written that Constellaion developed the name “Adventure Wines” for a type of category of wines that had already existed. But, that category sure has exploded with new brands.

  3. info - May 23, 2006

    Notice of litigation:
    Moldauer v. Constellation Brands Inc / Canandaigua Wine
    … – 2k –

  4. Moldauer v Constellation Brands Inc (2012) - Adelaide, South Australia - October 26, 2012

    Moldauer v Constellation Brands Inc (2012) – Adelaide, South Australia

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