Intimacy, Women & Wine


women who account for the majority of wine purchases in most price
segments, enjoy wine in small, intimate gatherings and choose it for
reasons that speak to enhancing an experience."

This comes from a set of Top Level Findings of a study on consumer habits commissioned by the California Wine Institute, the state’s largest association of wineries. There were a number of other findings described, but this idea of how women relate to wine I found most interesting.

In an earlier post I questioned the need to segregate women when it comes to experiencing, celebrating and learning about wine. Since then I’ve been looking into the issue of "women and wine" and come to the conclusion that, from a marketers perspective, they represent an untapped opportunity to create really fundamental "world of mouth brand building".

This idea that women are more likely to seek out "intimate gatherings" in exploring wine and that such gatherings satisfy their desire to enhance a broader "overall experience" in particular suggests opportunities for wine tasting rooms.

My experience with tasting rooms was confirmed by a number of conversations I had yesterday with various tasting room managers and winery owners: While men are willing to find happiness at a crowded tasting bar, women are far less pleased to be in an elbow rich environment. If a tasting room can create an experience that accommodates its traffic yet provides a more personal experience, the winery can expect more sales and better world of mouth.

So, how to create a more intimate experience that women will react more favorably to?

More Food
More one-on-one education
More "personalities" in the tasting room

This would be in contrast to the usual "saddle up to the bar, drink, leave" scenario that most wine tasting rooms offer.  While I think more programs that stress more one-on-one interaction and the incorporation of personalities of food and personalities would cost more, the investment would certainly pay off by encouraging guest to buy more and talk more.


One Response

  1. Kay - January 10, 2006

    I guess that’s one of the aims of the Mayo Family Winery you wrote about below. A more intimate experience designed to take people from the tasting bar set-up into a place where they can relax, be waited on, and showcase the wines with appropriate foods.
    Sounds good to me.

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