10 Ways to Use A Good Wine Review

wine reviewsIt’s not the easiest thing, nor the least expensive thing, to have our wine reviewed positively by an authoritative wine critic or wine-related publication. So when it happens, it’s important for the producer and vendors of the wine to take full advantage of occasion; to extend the life and utility of the positive review.

But first, ignore anyone who tells you that the reviews published by wine critics are a useless, waning in marketing value, ignored by any particular generation of wine drinkers or meaningless. The difference between the impact of a rating and review of a wine by someone touting it on Twitter and a critic touting it in, say, Wine & Spirits Magazine is exponential: one is exposing your wine to probably 1000 people at most, some of whom may like wine and some of whom may have no interest in the tweeter’s opinion, while the other is exposing your wine to a highly engaged audience of tens of thousands of wine lovers who have already indicated they trust the opinion of the magazine by actually paying money to read it.

So, the important question to answer is how to take full advantage of the positive reviews you receive for a wine you produce or sell by getting it in front of as many people as possible?  Here are some of the ways that the recipient of a positive review ought to consider using each and every review they receive in order to make the most use of this important sales tools.

1. Internal Dissemination
Make sure everyone inside your company knows about the review so, if the occasion arises, they can use this third-party endorsement in their sales , hospitality and marketing efforts.

2. Sales Partners
Make sure all sales partners (wholesalers, brokers, retailers carrying your wine and restaurants serving your wine) know about the review. There are a number of ways to accomplish this. Use one of them.

3. In the Tasting Room
. Make the review available to patrons in your tasting room (if you possess one) in such a way that it is not the primary messaging about the wine, but available to the patron if they are interested. This will happen by including the review in some sort of accompanying materials in the tasting room or perhaps on your tasting room’s iPad or tablet that visitors use to read about the wines.

4. On Your Website
Include the review on your website on the wine’s specific page.

5. Social Media
Communicate the gist of the review by using your various social media tools

6. Direct Customer Communication
Include the review in any electronic or snail-mail communications you have with your wine club or mailing list members via release letters or newsletters.

7. Create a Sales Tool
Create an easily downloadable “shelf talker” touting the review that your retail partners can print out and use.

8. In Sales Presentations
Include the review in any educational materials you may be using in presentation in front of your sales force, particularly at distributorships.

9. In Advertising
If you advertise in either trade or consumer publications, consider using the review as the focal point of an ad or as supportive copy in the ad.

10. Expand Your Database of Critical Reviews
Put it in your database of reviews (you have one, right?) that allows you to track critical response to your efforts by vintage, wine, variety and release date.

Tom Wark is a veteran public and media relations professional who has served the wine industry since 1990. He is a founder of the American Wine Blog Awards and the Wine Bloggers Conference and serves as the Executive Director of the American Wine Consumer Coalition. Wark has written for numerous industry publications and regularly appears as a speaker and on panels at wine industry events across the country. FERMENTATION: The Daily Wine Blog began publishing in 2004.


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