Who needs confirmation that the name you place on a wine brand is extraordinarily important? Who needs confirmation that one’s ideological world view is reflected in their purchasing habits?

If you need either, here it is: Ben Smith at the Politico blog reports that sales of "Palin" Syrah have dove at a San Francisco wine bar since Sarah Palin was tapped to be John McCain’s Vice Presidential running mate.

The wine bar is Yield Wine Bar on 3rd Street. The actual wine in question is the 2006 Palin Syrah, a Chilean import.

No one should be surprised that the name of a wine affects it sales.  If you aren’t sure of this go ahead and start a new wine brand and call it "Hitler’s Estate".

What’s really interesting about this little convergence of wine and politics is the confirmation it offers that that one’s ideology can determine how one spends their disposable income. But not just that. It also demonstrates how the most ridiculous and tiny coincidence can spark one’s ideological mindset to override one’s consumerist tendencies.

This of course begs the question, Where is the new wine brand called "Change"? Would it sell? Would it sell particularly well between now and January? Would it sell particularly well in San Francisco? Would it sell particularly well in Republican City, Nebraska?

Posted In: Culture and Wine


9 Responses

  1. fredric koeppel - September 22, 2008

    are you, like, a genius with Photoshop? great illustration!

  2. Arthur - September 22, 2008

    A tangential thought here is that these prejudices drive the market.
    Additionally, you should check out this blog and its most recent post:

  3. Arthur - September 22, 2008

    In the Soviet Bloc, we had a saying: “Hope is the mother of fools”.

  4. Dan Cochran - September 23, 2008

    If you try to sell “Change” wine in Pennsylvania, don’t bother trying to sell it in Harrisburg, the capital. They are allergic to change of any sort, especially where it concerns the state-controlled monopoly over wine and spirit sales.

  5. Morton Leslie - September 23, 2008

    It will sell in SFO if it is labeled Chateau Changé and is biodynamic. It will not sell in Republican City. They are currently into a Greek wine, Nonutaxis. Come January, we will all be drinking Domaine Deficít.

  6. Nancy Deprez - September 23, 2008

    There is actually an Austrian estate called Hiedler. They do just fine though.

  7. Dylan - September 24, 2008

    I think republicans would have their own reaction, and that would just be, “Keep the Change.” With tasting notes, that are different with every sip the longer they are exposed to air, so it’s difficult to pin point how any bottle will taste.

  8. Dr. Horowitz - September 24, 2008

    I think the Change Cab would sell better if it was an ’08 from IL…

  9. JohnLopresti - September 27, 2008

    That would be as in ‘spare change’, the neck label would depict the Bear Stearns skyscraper, AIG tower, Merrill Lynch office building, Lehman Brothers national monument; varietals matter little but heartell vinification method is a lot like the one for grappa; bottled in AZ. And that baby ain’t gonna sell.
    Then there is the excellent ’08 cuvee mentioned by one commenter, I believe first coined as a Catawba blush kind of tablewine in OH. But, heck, there could be a Change label for many regional varietals, this being a watershed year for bringing in a new way of doing things.
    I have yet to hear of a Wasilla vintage, but global warming, if she says it exists, is working to bring 170 frost free days to hometowns above the arctic circle soon. Better stay with the trusted cabs now and change now before this vision becomes a yet another reality denied by grandmother in a thoroughly vetted prepared speech delivered to her grandchildren.

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