Tom's blog

Yes, you like those wine descriptions

I was recently intrigued by a report from the University of Adelaide that shows consumers are motivated to buy a wine based on their emotions after reading a critic's description.  The consumer study showed that a buyer's decision on what to buy and how much to pay is greatly influenced by how they feel after reading a label or a critic's review.  

I guess it's no different than any other kind of marketing. You likely would buy a wine that is said to be "like walking through a field of lilacs" over a wine that compared the experience to walking through a field of cow shit, right?

I often struggle to come up with apt descriptions and resort to standbys that name the fruit flavor or an herb that is integral to the aromas. But I've read some marketing crap that goes on and on about "liquid Viagra" or "wine that makes you want to cozy up to a fire." Worse, there are common descriptions that a consumer in his right mind would want to avoid: cat pee (sauvignon blanc), diesel fuel (riesling), barnyard (burgundy).

it's impressive that even some tasters can distinguish between white and black pepper or fresh sage versus dried sage, anise versus licorice, milk chocolate versus dark chocolate. Does it really matter? Apparently, it does. The 126 tasters surveyed after a blind tasting showed a willingness to buy a wine that had effusive praise on its back label. 

I've often condemned labels for lacking basic information, such as grape varieties used in a blend. Instead, you get a vapid and contrived marketing description that is more ad than information. But, stupid me. It's the ad that sells the wine.