December 14 2008
Despite the hard time that large wine companies with high production take from wine drinkers-cum-pundits in the wine blogosphere, it is nice to see the estate / fine wine division of Constellation making some meaningful wine with a level of progressiveness in their consumer engagement efforts.
Is it possible to be all things to all people? Can a winery balance the thin line between art / commerce successfully?
Kim Crawford will have you believing it is possible.
The 2008 Kim Crawford Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc is a fine example of national distribution, professional critical acclaim, and social media engagement, coupled with the most important thing – a darn tasty wine.
It is so tasty, in fact, I spent the better part of last Saturday afternoon driving around Indianapolis looking for it – most stores were out of stock after its second appearance in two years on the Wine Spectator Top 100 wines of the year, garnering 91 points and a #40 ranking on the Top 100.
Note to self. This is Indiana. Don’t check every wine shop in town first—go to your corner liquor store.
Despite the lack of quaintness in my purchase, it is not the Top 100 ranking that had originally interested me in Kim Crawford—it was the advertising.
I subscribe to a music magazine called Paste that seems like it is written for me – it focuses on accessible indie rock and arts culture. It is a national magazine and the November issue had a Kim Crawford ad.
It was noticeable because how often do you see wine advertising in a contemporary youth culture/music magazine that is not Yellowtail? Hardly ever.
The ad copy says:
At Kim Crawford, we believe in trailblazing. Whether it’s screw caps, Unoaked Chardonnay or up-and-coming artists, we support unconventional thinking and the courage to break new ground. We’ve put together the perfect party playlist with some of our favorite new sounds and songs. Why not download it now?
So, let me get this straight – a large wine company brand, with acclaimed wine from the wine industry critical press, that is advertising in a niche music/culture magazine with a specific web site that offers music downloads and content commissioned from a wine consultant and blogger, Courtney Cochran? What else can they possible be doing right? Social media. Yeah, check there, too. Kim Crawford has a Facebook page and they also Twitter.
Aside from the full-color, full page ad in the magazine, I hope other wines are taking note of this recipe for success as it should give smaller wineries some inspiration.