Winecast 40: Roberta Backlund, consumer wine advocate

Roberta Blacklund

Roberta Backlund

Consumer wine advocate Roberta Backlund says there are values to be found – the key is not to be shy about what you’re looking for

One of the biggest problems facing consumers when they buy wine, says Roberta Backlund, is a lack of confidence. “Don’t be shy,” she says. Know what you like, and don’t be afraid to say so. Why buy a $15 bottle of red wine when you want an $8 bottle of white wine? Or vice versa?

Backland has been a wine retailer and consultant, and has worked for producers and distributors. In this, she has seen almost everything that goes on in her 22 years in the wine business, and her advice is real world – no scores, no winespeak, and no foolishness.

Did you know, for example, that the trade calls the system where the same product gets three different prices “pulse pricing?” Or that Chilean wine, once one of the world’s great values, may be staging a comeback, so its sauvignon blanc and pinot noir may be worth buying? And that box wine is better than its reputation suggests?

We recorded the interview at Metro State College in Denver, when we were judging the 2019 Colorado Governor’s Cup. Backlund included advice on how to spot, older flawed wines, where to find bargains at your local retailer, and how to get around premiumization.

Click here to download or stream the podcast, which is about 10 ½ minutes long and takes up 8.6 megabytes. The sound quality is good; there’s a little popping, but nothing that gets in the way.

2 thoughts on “Winecast 40: Roberta Backlund, consumer wine advocate

  • By William Baker - Reply

    Enjoyed the podcast. Thanks for posting it, and also thanks for continuing to to be a common-sense voice in the world of wine criticism.
    I don’t know where I, and the many friends and family members that I know who buy and enjoy wine on a regular basis fall on the spectrum of wine consumers, but it seems we aren’t very important to the typical wine writer. We aren’t looking for a transcendent experience when we open a bottle of wine – we just want a enjoyable beverage that complements and hopefully improves the meal. I’ve been both pleasantly surprised and quite disappointed by a bottle of wine, and since I don’t drink wine in order to write about it, the disappointments can often spoil an evening.
    Kudos from a regular reader, and press on.
    All the Best

    • By Wine Curmudgeon - Reply

      Thank you. You have left me speechless, which isn’t an easy thing to do.

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