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  Editorial Issue 85, May 2010   
New Ways of Buying WineNew Ways of Buying Wine  Contents 
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New Ways of Buying Wine


 Of these hard times of economic crisis have been talked a lot. A subject involving anyone and which has involved everything, every economic and productive area has been affected by the effects of this crisis which it unavoidably brought up. Understanding whether this crisis is over - or just seeing some signs of restart - it is not easy: some believe it is over and therefore invite people to “spend” while exhorting to optimism, others are more prudent instead. In short, it seems no one knows what the future will bring. Then, there is real life where anyone - or better to say, most of people - is forced to face life on a daily basis and finally getting a real vision of facts. Wine, of course, is no exception in this, indeed, being today considered as a luxury good instead of a need, its consumption, and therefore its purchasing, is frequently considered as a low priority thing in life and therefore it becomes a “luxury” drink one affords as soon as possible, or at least, from time to time.


 

 We talked many times about this crisis which unavoidably affected wine trading. Although there have been signs of restart, consumers are still having some discomforts, in particular when it comes to prices. In these times, one has to choose whether to be happy in buying a “decent” wine, or to completely avoid buying wine. To tell the truth, it should be said there is a huge number of wines sold at honest prices, but it is also true in many cases the price of some wines is not justified in any way by the quality found in the glass. Moreover, it should be said a lot of wines sold at affordable prices are however characterized by a truly low quality, sometimes being at the limit of drinkability. Not all people can do “experiments” or buying on a trial and error basis. Sometimes, when one has to make a decision whether spending money on an unknown product sold at an affordable price, in doubt of drinking a wine of improbably quality, consumers decide not to take the risk.

 The market, aware of what it is happening, tries to satisfy the needs of consumers, by offering a wide selection of wines, from extremely cheap ones to extremely expensive ones. One should enter a mall and take a look at the area dedicated to wine. Most of the times there are whole sections where only wine bottles are found, of which, most of them, sold at affordable prices. In this sense, supermarkets and malls have become the direct competitors of wine shops, that is those shops where wine is traditionally bought. It should be said, in regard to supermarkets, wine shops offer the added service of “counseling”, as here it is usually found qualified personnel who can give advices about any wine. It should also be said similar professional figures are becoming more and more popular in supermarkets too, found in sectors dedicated to wine, available to give an advice about the right wine for every occasion and, in particular, for every wallet.

 Although supermarkets are one of the places in which consumers frequently buy wine, in recent times a new trend is becoming more and more popular: buying wines directly from the producer. The advantages of doing so are sometimes interesting and convenient. First of all, it is possible to know the place of origin of wines - in this sense one can improve his or her culture - moreover, wines are usually sold at a more convenient price. It should be said differences in prices - for obvious reasons of competitions with conventional commercialization - are not substantial and far from normal prices, however sometimes one can get a considerable save of money. The purchasing of wines directly from the producer also offers another advantage over the other forms of purchasing: evaluating and tasting the wine before buying. This “advantage” represents the highest expression of honesty and loyalty: first you taste a wine, then, if you like it, you can buy it. Like to say, satisfied on every purchase.

 Purchasing the wine at the winery is also a good occasion for a trip with friends, going to the places of wine, understanding the quality of the territory and its grapes, as well as knowing the history of a winery, directly told by the one who makes that wine. For wineries this means having a direct contact with their customers, while letting them to visit the winery and generally having a more clear and direct relation. Going to the winery also gives another advantage: buying bulk wine - of course, the one which can be sold in this form by law - usually sold at low prices, with a “decent” and “worthy” quality according to the price. Not everyone can of course go to wineries, in particular the ones being far from the place in which one lives in. This problem is usually solved by the so called “group buying”, that is groups of friends and consumers who place an order for their wines directly to the producer, who, in turn, ships the wines directly to the client.

 In this case shipping cost can make the difference and could vanish the possible saving of money, but it is right in this case the efficiency of “group buying” can be very convenient. A group buying usually place an order of many bottles and therefore shipping costs marginally affect the price of each bottle. Will group buying be the new way of purchasing wine, while trying to have a more direct relation - and last but not the least, convenient - relation with the producer? By considering what it is going on in the world of wine, it seems this form of purchasing is getting more and more important. Also a poll of ours about this subject reveals this form of purchasing is one of the favorite ones among wine lovers. The choice of purchasing a wine directly from the producer it is not only determined by the lower availability of money and crisis. Consumers, maybe, are getting more and more conscious about the fact there have been many who simply exaggerated on this, by speculating and raising prices, in particular on those wines having a pretty disappointing quality and far from their price. Nobody is stupid, and in case of doubt - crisis or not crisis - the temptation of seeing how things are for real is pretty strong. And also justified.

 







   Share this article     Summary of Editorial column Wine Tasting 
  Editorial Issue 85, May 2010   
New Ways of Buying WineNew Ways of Buying Wine  Contents 
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