Archive - May, 2007

Wine in VOGA

VOGA wines
Continuing the theme of new wine packaging, some Italians (who else?) have taken wine packaging into areas usually reserved for perfume, and more recently branded water, with the launch of VOGA.

I like the packaging. It is simple, elegant and modern. We have seen things like this in water, and to be honest I like them, but I do usually think that those that use them are probably offering style over substance. However, it appeals to those with an eye for fashion and design, and therefore probably the younger fashion-conscious adults that establish trends (i.e. not me).

It seems that it uses a standard cork under there and that the cap is “resealable”. This is something new as well. They have also designed interesting POS materials to help to promote it, and sell it in a 15(!) bottle triangular case, although that last part is just silly.

As for the wine, the white is (surprise, surprise!) Pinot Grigio, and the red is a rather odd blend of international varieties from Sicily which seems to be designed to tick all the boxes (consumers should recognise and like at least one of them).

All in all, if this has actually made it to the market, it looks like something daring and inventive and I wish it luck. It does rather smack of a design student’s fantasy project rather than a proper commercial proposition, but then new ideas sometimes do.

Apparently it sells in the US for about $12 which isn’t bad, but the only stockist in the UK that I could find only sells it as a gift, and at over £20 at that.

If anyone comes across a bottle, please let me know.

bursting the expensive bubble?

As a further follow up post on the subject of better wines in supermarkets, I see that The Telegraph (online at least) has recycled their previous news story with a funny, and unintended, contrast:

Quote from today’s article – exactly as per the page:

“Sales of bottles costing £10 or more are up 74 per cent in the past two years, said Tesco. The chain is stocking bottles of wine priced at up to £100 each for the first time.

[...] The supermarket’s beer, wine and spirits category manager, Jason Godley, said more shoppers are treating themselves to expensive wines.

“This would never have happened in a British supermarket even a few years ago and it suggests that Brits are fast shaking off their reputation, especially with our European neighbours, as a nation of plonk drinkers,” he said.

• South African brand Arniston Bay is launching wine in resealable pouches.

The pouches will launch in Britain this month, according to The Grocer magazine.”

Presumably those pouches are full of ‘quality’ non-plonk at over £10 then?

Jancis and the Blue Nun again

Although she fails to go with the Blue Nun part of the story, Jancis Robinson MW has also written about the spurious data about wine sales above £10.

It must be said that spreading the rumour about others spending a lot on wine could be useful. As Mark Earls points out on his ‘Herd’ blog, we are heavily influenced by what others think and do, so “if everyone else is paying £10, then maybe I should too” might have an effect.

Maybe some independent merchants could do a follow up on this story and recommend a series of £10 wines that would demonstrate how much better wine was at this price.

I quite like the idea of copying the diamond marketing concept, you know the one … “everyone knows you should be spending at least the equivalent of one month’s salary on your diamond engagement ring” (I noticed that a few years back they tried a campaign that said two months!!). If style mags and newspapers picked up on Decanter editor Guy Woodward’s comments and established £10 as the minimum to spend on a wines as a present or for a dinner party, it would at least raise the bar (so to speak).

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