Putting Wine in Context

Wine is not just ‘appreciated’, it is appreciated IN A CONTEXT.

Context: the circumstances that form the setting for an event, statement, or idea, and in terms of which it can be fully understood

One wine that is perfect in one context, may be entirely wrong for another. Thinking, writing, marketing or selling wine without understanding the context risks wasting the effort.

Gaga-ing on the concept of wine

Gaga-ing on the concept of wine in Liquorville

The context for a wine might be:

  • drinking it with a meal on a summer terrace;
  • for analysis and competition purposes;
  • with friends;
  • at a music concert;
  • to impress a colleague;
  • because my mum only likes white wines;
  • to make a social point;
  • … and so on, including in combination, ad infinitum

The context of a wine personalises the experience of the person buying and drinking the wine.

Context changes not just between people, but from moment to moment even for each person.

For too long wine communication has focused almost entirely on a single contextthe appreciation of wine by a wine lover, someone focused on the wine in their glass above all else, often tasting in clinical settings, knowledgeable about wine and wine processes, looking for unusual and varied experiences.

How true is this of ‘real’ wine drinkers?
How useful is the information gathered?

The proliferation of voices in digital media platforms means that we can now offer messages, and wines, for many different contexts, and reach consumers in more appealing, relevant ways.

The theme of the DWCC 2014 will be “Wine in Context” and we will target presentations, workshops and events around the idea of placing wine in new and interesting contexts to give it new relevance. Plus it is more fun.

Our challenge, as Digital Wine Communicators, is to develop new products (digital or otherwise) covering new contexts for tasting and sharing wine. Where do we start?

... and now for something completely different

… and now for something completely different

We want to start a wide discussion about wine in context and would love to hear your ideas for what this might look like in order to inspire the wine trade to be braver, and broader. We don’t mean writing tasting notes in new ways, but hopefully scrapping tasting notes completely.

UPDATE 20/12: I feel I need to clarify. This is NOT about what sessions we should run at the conference. This is a question of general ideas for SOMETHING NEW IN WINE COMMUNICATIONS AND SALES. We are not canvassing for topics (yet), we really want to get the creative brains that are part of the DWCC community to come up with interesting, fun and challenging concepts for the wine trade to re-think how we reach potential wine consumers. We hope to start a discussion about Innovation in Wine.

To give you some ‘context’, here’s just an example:

“Does my glass look big in this outfit?”: a site run by a wine loving fashion person. General fashion content plus interviews with designers, models, retailers, journalists, bloggers, photographers and others involved in the fashion business, linking their interests and ideas of fashion with the world of wine and drinks. Posts include:

  • How to make party guests feel special without buying champagne?
  • Matching labels: Wine and Fashion partnerships;
  • Best ideas for new packaging of drinks;
  • Most memorable wine moment (get some name-dropping in there);
  • Coolest places in the world to drink

The 3 ‘best’ ideas, either for creative new channels, or “what wine in context means to you”, will be chosen by Robert Joseph, and will earn a FREE TICKET to #DWCC 2014 in Montreux*. Get commenting straight away, you have until January 15th 2014 to submit your suggestions, but you can always post more than once.

Good luck, and thanks!

* Note: we reserve the right to award fewer if not enough responses are posted, so get posting and encourage others to do the same to spark ideas. You can add as many as you want.

** I tried to locate the original creator of the Monty Python animated gif, but failed, so it is not credited, but this is not my handiwork

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About Robert

Robert McIntosh is a wine blogger and online communicator on WineConversation.com and ThirstForWine.co.uk, a prolific twitterer (@thirstforwine) as well as speaking at wine events. Robert is co-organiser of the annual Digital Wine Communications Conference, promotes international online wine communication, and advises companies about how to engage through social media. Robert also has some trouble communicating in the third person.