Answering Wine Complication: Get It Down Their Throats

The Wine Market Council, an industry organization concerned with broadening the appeal of wine has re-launched its website.

In the press release that announced the re-launch I found this piece of information fascinating:

"with an estimated 259 million cases consumed last year (in the U.S.), many Americans still feel that wine is too complicated and don’t have the answers about wine service and enjoyment."

Of course that begs the question, how many is "many Americans." The Wine market council provided the answer:

"2006 research from the Wine Market Council…found that 35 percent of Millennials share this concern, as do 2 percent of Generation Xers and 18 percent of Baby Boomers."

I don’t know about you, but it strikes me that if only 18% of Boomers surveyed said they think wine is "too complicated" or that they "don’t have the answers about wine service and enjoyment," then we are doing a damn good job of educating the public. This means that 82% of those surveyed did not think wine too complicated. Seventy-one percent of Gen Xers have a handle on wine and 65% of Millennials aren’t confused by wine.

I’m surprised the number of those millennials who think wine is "too complicated" isn’t much higher than reported.

Wineanswers has  goal of being "the ultimate online, interactive guide to all things wine.
" Wow! Now that’s a goal. Some personal life trainers and self-help types advocate that we create a series of small attainable goals that we can reach with some effort then move on to the next. Wine Answers takes the opposite track by creating a goal that is truly monumental.

If the folks behind have the resources to really promote the heck out of the site I see no reason why they couldn’t make an impact. However, it’s really rare to see a non-commercial website put much promotion at all behind their efforts. Frankly, there’s nothing alike a few hundred thousand dollars to get a new web site on people’s radar. But, given the statistics on who thinks wine is too complicated, I’m not sure the effort is really necessary.

I personally think there is  very simple formula for increasing people’s confidence when it comes to wine: Make really good wine that is REALLY well prices. In other words, get the wine down peoples throats. The more, different wine you drink the more confident you become.

3 Responses

  1. Jack - July 16, 2007

    Wow…that’s about the most dumbed-down wine site I’ve seen. Was taken?
    This might sound harsh, but some of the website is quite lame: such wonders as allowing you to send an email recommending a wine to a friend – as IF this is THE WAY to tell a friend about wine (You NEED to use their site!).

  2. Agent Red - July 17, 2007

    While I have a hard time believing the numbers in the survey, I do believe that making wine more accessible to a wider audience is never a bad thing. The beauty of the Internet is its ability to accommodate any number if niche sites, each with its own potential audience.

  3. Kathleen - July 17, 2007

    I have to admit I liked the food and wine pairing tool. I haven’t seen another wine website brave enought to recommend cabernet sauvignon with mac and cheese.
    Albany, NY
    Wine and Stories from the Vineyard blog –

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