How Do You Choose a Wine? It’s Not How the Wine Industry Sells it to You

Wine consumption has traditionally been associated, especially in mature wine markets, with food. However, in recent years recent years we have witnessed a sharp resurgence of occasional consumption linked to festivities, social gatherings and special occasions.

Nowadays, consumers opt for wine as a drink of pleasure, capable of enhancing the sensorial aspects of a good lunch or dining event with family or friends (research: 70% of regular and 60% of occasional consumers), rather than simply as an everyday drink.

In addition, the idea of wine as a drink of sociability seems to be more and more integrated into social occasions – not just those involving food. For example, we choose wine for an after-work meeting with colleagues, a girls’ night out, or an aperitif, etc. (51% of regular drinkers and 80% of occasional drinkers).

But when it comes to the selling and purchasing process, are wine producers and consumers speaking the same language? How often have you woken up in the morning with the urge to drink a French oak aged wine, or a wine with this or that tannin? Is your urge to drink a glass of wine more readily linked to festivities, social gatherings and special occasions?

In fact, producers and consumers have been talking in very distinct dialects. While producers speak of technical characteristics, using specific jargon, like tannins, terroirs or ageing methods, consumers speak of moments, emotions and events.

It was with this challenge in mind that we set up Wine With Spirit, now an award winning Portuguese wine producer and a tech company. Our aim is to change the wine game.

I was raised in a family connected to growing and making wine so was fortunate enough to be able to spot the business opportunity in this traditional market where producers insist on not speaking the same language as their consumers.

But how could Wine With Spirit get close to the many thousands of wine consumers around the world?

We started by commissioning extensive research, especially in ethnography, to study consumers’ needs and interests when choosing a wine. This research validated that:

  1. The majority of consumers are driven to consume wine based on moments or emotions (i.e. occasions or emotions linked to certain moments);
  2. More than 90% of consumers don’t base their buying decisions on the technical aspects of wine.

It was clear that a new market approach was needed. We wanted something with a dose of Portuguese irreverence to match the moments in our lives,

Unlike other wine producers, we create our wines from the market to the vineyard. First, we identify consumer’s needs in terms of consumption moments/emotions (romantic dinner, meeting with friends, celebration…) and then create strong and easily identifiable brands. Only after that does our wine maker, Pedro Sereno, study that information in order to create the right wine for the previously identified moment or emotion.

We believe that when you buy a bottle of wine your choosing a drink to suit your emotions, not a drink that ticks some technical boxes.

Article by João Pedro Montes, Founder & CEO of Wine With Spirit

About João:

João is Wine With Spirit’s founder and CEO. He has dedicated his career to general management, entrepreneurship, business development, marketing and corporate finance. João served as Board Member at ONI Telecom and as Board Advisor at GESTMIN.

Before, João served as General Manager at TimWe Group and as CEO at MKTM-Mobilizing Brands. In Pfizer Pharmaceuticals he spent 4 years in New York and Lisbon.

Prior to that, João worked for Wyeth Consumer Healthcare in New York, for Rentech-GTL (Texaco) in Colorado and for Andersen Consulting in Madrid. João has an MBA from the Darden Graduate School of Business Administration of the University of Virginia.

Source: Wine With Spirit

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