On a recent sales call at a wine shop, the comment was made that the Boyle MacDonald 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon did not look like a high end wine.
The owners of the shop showed us what sort of packaging we should have that would convince everyone our wine was great. I’ll come back to that.
We graciously listened and went away feeling a bit beaten up by a society of fancy packaging. When did wine become about appearances? Sure, I like an intense hue of violet for a red, or a gorgeous golden-yellow white, but that’s as deep as my visual experience needs to be when enjoying a wine.
It’s frustrating when people in the industry, influencing customers no less, are selling a glass bottle and paper label rather than the contents therein. We understand the need for a more influential package if the bottle is sitting on a chain supermarket shelf, but we specifically take the time to taste owners of wine shops and restaurants so that they can educate their customers about the wine itself.
Let me be clear, I love the way our wine package looks, and I’m not making excuses for it because it does not require an apology. At each step, a conscious effort was made to deliver this wine in the best possible vessel. The corks were chosen with intense care, the label was designed with enthusiasm, and most importantly the bottle was chosen for its ability to contain the true product.
I’ll admit we did look into the heavy glass bottles, we were falling prey to the same arguments made by the wine shop owner. In the end however, we chose a more sustainable packaging; a bottle that delivered the wine without being obnoxious, and without wasting precious resources.
I told you I’d get back to the packaging convincing people our wine was great. When we were handed a few bottles as demonstration of ‘high end looking wines’, one jumped out at me as being a complete contradiction in beliefs. The bottle in question used every bit of label space to shout to the world about its sustainable farming, organic winemaking, true preservation of nature, green, green, green….but I’ll be damned if my wrist wasn’t sore from the weight of the glass. Is sustainable packaging not part of the preservation of nature? Do we really need to use 50% more glass in a bottle, as well as higher fuel costs for production and transportation of the glass product? I am not criticizing packaging choices, no matter how owners want their brands to be presented is their right, but please don’t tell me my wine won’t sell because it doesn’t look the part.
We’re honored to have you share our wine with your customers, and proud to have you as a representative, rather than allowing the bottle itself to smack the customers over the head as they walk through the door. ~ Kate