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What If Gerard Depardieu and Salma Hayek had a Love Child?

Mexican_wineWhen I started this blog, I intended to never utter a word about French wine—I wanted my blog to focus on American wineries, primarily with a bent towards smaller wineries juxtoposed against some fun with the Adventure brands—many of which come from the wine conglomerates.

But, in the vein of constructive analysis, I’m amending that to this:  I intend to never promote French wine. 

Some things are so confounding that they deserve a closer look.

It used to be that the French Paradox used to refer to the seeming contradictory fact that the French ate large quantities of rich, fatty foods, yet had a very low incidence of heart disease.  This positive has largely been attributed to their consumption of red wine with its ancillary health benefits.

I am lobbying that the New French Paradox is the seemingly contradictory notion that the French, particularly French winemakers know anything about marketing.  Now, given that the French still have an ongoing love affair with Jerry Lewis, I suppose we should give them a hall pass.

This article appeared the other day related to the French importing three new wines called, respectively:  3 Bandido’s, Jet Lag and Tasty.

Los 3 Bandidos is one of dozens of French wines looking to moveinto the lower-end U.S. wine market. Many on offer at this week’sFrench Wine Road Show are aimed at younger consumers who may not knowthe difference between a grenache and a merlot—they just wantsomething to drink with barbecue ribs.

How does it taste? "Likethe first thirst-quenching drink after two days in the Sonora desert,"according to promotional copy describing the Bandidos Syrah Rose, which"jumps out of the glass, all raspberry and spunk."

Spunky ornot, it is made in southern France, and while its heritage includes oneJesus Navarro—reputedly the right-hand man of 20th century Mexicanrevolutionaries Villa, Emiliano Zapata and Venustiano Carranza—it isbeing marketed by Gabriel Meffre, a winemaker based in the village ofGigondas since 1936.

"These young people do not like traditionalconcepts" in wine, said Andree Ferrandiz, who manages the wine-tradingfirm Somacvins DF Service. "They prefer to be caught by somethingspecial, a new concept of what the consumer wants to find."

Here’s why this won’t work.  First, it’s a tremendous disservice to a customer that I doubt they are in touch with.  But, second, any state side wine marketer would say the following:

The reason that Yellowtail worked for Australia and other adventure brands are working for New Zealand, Spain and Argentina is because those countries didn’t have a wine identity in the states, so clever marketing helps create an identity to fill the space that wasn’t previously filled in the consumers mind. 

But, with all due respect, the reason your 3 Bandido’s won’t work is because the younger consumer that you are trying to target already have a pre-conceived notion of French wine.  They pass that section at the wine shop to get to the back corner where the specials are.  By pandering to this demographic by associating a French wine with Mexican Cowboys to Americans is beyond a level of comprehension.  The very first tenant of marketing to Generation Y (Generation X, for that matter) is to be authentic. 

The second reason this won’t work is you anticipate targeting a younger consumer that may not know the difference between a Grenache and a merlot.  But, unfortunately, Gen. Y is coming online as a "Core" wine consumer and they are the most learned generation ever.  They know what they  like.

This is as far from authentic as possible.  Contrived comes to mind.  Grasping at air comes to mind, as well. 

SonoraYou have violated that tenant and have added gas to the fire by invoking it as, "Like the first thirst-quenching drink after two days in the Sonora desert.

Nevermind, that when parched from being in the desert nobody wants a glass of wine over, say, a glass of water.

If Gerard Depardieu and Salma Hayek had a love child it would surely drink tequila. 


Posted in, Good Grape Daily: Pomace & Lees. Permalink | Comments (1) |


On 03/13, Steve wrote:

Nice article.  Raspberry and SPUNK? I beg your pardon? Not only do they need a clue but a less perverse copy writer.

Their child would probably chug tequila.  On wine Depardieu once said: “on a good day I drink 4 bottles, on a bad day, 6 bottles!”


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