? A first-year hit: How do you sell a wine with a minimum of reviews, little retail placement outside of grocery stores, and a lousy name? Make it the house wine for The Food Newtwork. That's the story of Entwine, which sold more than 150,000 cases in its first five months and which is expected to sell one-half million cases annually within two years. Which is a lot of wine. In this, Entwine's success speaks volumes about how Americans buy wine, which we've discussed on the blog more than once. We buy on price — Entwine is $13 — and we buy on label. In this case, the Entwine label is enhanced by the partnership with The Food Network, where it is used on the channel's cooking shows. This, as usual, more than makes up for the lack of information about what the wine tastes like.
? More bad news for scores: Winematch.com takes on scores and why they don't work, especially in the way retailers use scores to sell wine. "Wine is not unique to marketing spin but it's spin of the worst kind and the end result is you lose the consumer." Those are harsh words, but the post makes the accusation stick and it's something retailers should take into account.
? Being a wine snob is a good thing: Or, why there will be always be a Wine Spectator. This is an impassioned defense of wine elitism by the Specator's Matt Kramer, and one has to admire his enthusiasm for the task. It's wrong to say that if you like a wine, it's a good wine, exclaims Kramer: "This is, without question, the biggest lie of them all. … They think it will make wine more accessible to more people. They think they're doing everyone a favor by 'democratizing' wine. Wine is too elitist, you see. It's important – ? nay, essential – ? that wine be taken down a peg or two in order to make it accessible to all." And we certainly don't want that, do we?