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Authenticity – Best Served Chilled

It’s getting harder and harder to tell what authenticity looks like. Many times, deception rears its ugly head in marketing. In today’s competitive alcoholic beverage industry, I’ve seen many instances of deception. While some may feel that my language is too strong, I personally like to call things as I see them. Because I’m a geek of all things related to wine, when I see a new wine label, I research it. If curiosity was a drug, I’d be in deep shit. Delving into a new label gives me great pleasure, almost as much as cleaning out a nice juicy blackhead (this is for my hubby!). Sometimes my research unveils hidden truths.

Jeepers, get to the point Dawn. While I would love to get to the point, I’m told that it’s not the way one writes a blog. So, round and round you go, lol.  I almost didn’t start this company, because I felt so funny about having a wine label without owning a vineyard. Being open and honest about who I am and what I’m trying to do, is at the top of my priority list. I grew up in the Midwest, so the idea of starting a vineyard without an agricultural background, seemed pretty scary. Unfortunately I’m only about 1/10th crazy and 9/10ths careful. So instead, I found a wonderful wine making family, who believes in “Being Grapeful,” and here I am, still sober! If I were able to have my hands on full barrels of wine, who knows!

Since small batch wines, and wines with a story are popular, I’ve seen a trend where giant wine companies are now producing labels claiming to be small batch, and not really being clear on where they are from. 1000 Stories is a wine made by Fetzer. If you go to Fetzer’s website, you won’t find 1000 Stories there. Here’s where you’ll read about the True story behind 1000 stories: http://affinitycreative.com/project/1000-stories/ . Here’s what Affinity Creative said about the project,  “Fetzer Vineyards approached us with an idea: a wine targeted at whiskey drinkers. Tasked with brand strategy, naming, branding, and packaging design we set off to create what is now one of our most defining pieces of work, 1000 Stories.” Oh my, now that’s a brand story!

For some reason, they decided to market this wine, as if it were made by a small producer. Here’s the kicker, I like 1000 Stories.  I like the idea of it, and I think it’s a decent Zin. What I don’t like, is the deception. This isn’t a slam piece. I know, there’s a cardinal rule about not saying anything negative about the competition, but I’m more of a Cubbie/White Sox kind of girl. Do you remember Bartles and James wine coolers? I was so ticked to find out that those guys were paid actors. Oh, speaking of wine coolers, there’s a new sheriff in town. Stella Rosa wine has an alcohol content of 5 to 6%. How do you cut back the alcohol content of wine? Just add H2O. My hat is off to them! Again, there’s nothing wrong with lower alcohol content beverages, but why aren’t they calling them wine coolers? I’m so confused. The word on the marketing world street is, “Be Authentic!” and your brand will explode. And yet, so many are losing site of being authentic.

In keeping with my theme of transparency and authenticity: Hi, I’m Dawn and I’m not a winemaker. I’m a wine lover and I’m passionate about helping others, and I respect the importance of community. My business partner, friends, family and I get up early on the weekends, load up my van and we support small local charity events throughout the state of IL. And someday, I hope to learn how to put up the —ing ez up by myself! EZ my ass.

Anyone remember this…

You Be You!

Dawn