I’m not going to pretend that the wine choices out there aren’t overwhelming. They are! There are a million different wines to choose from and I still feel overwhelmed walking into a store or buying online. Yes, even me – the wine marketing professional with more than 10 years of experience in the industry. Navigating the huge selection of wines available to us represents the biggest challenge for both consumers and wine brands. I cannot think of any other food or beverage product that offers more choices than wine.

In a recent study conducted by an international wine region board, most wine drinkers stated that when they buy wine, they value opinions of their friends and family more than wine experts (critics, retailers, food/wine influencers, sommeliers, etc.) and/or advertising of any kind.

In addition, a Gallo Wine Trends survey found that 95 percent of participants said the single most important factor to encourage them to try a new wine is a recommendation from a friend or family member. The closer the social connection, the greater the influence of the recommendation, making wine-loving friends and family members the biggest influencers. That’s crazy. With all the tap dancing we do as marketers, and it all comes down to suggestions from friends and family!

So, what are we to do to help broaden their wine horizons? In my opinion a grassroots approach is critically important. I call it my “Give Me A Reason Approach.”  Wine tastings at a retail store, at a music festival, or at a popular vacation destination –  when choices are limited–  are proven to work. People need that one-on-one contractual memory or experience to link themselves to a specific wine, or wine region. People who tour and travel wine country get that experience. They savor the memories of their trip and rekindle those memories by drinking a wine from the region. As a producer for a pilot TV series on wine, my wife visited Marlborough, New Zealand and now she loves their Sauvignon Blancs. Other countries produce Sauvignon Blancs but to her New Zealand is special. I’ve met so many people that love Italian wines because it gives them a claim to their country of origin when all other ties are gone.

Our world is about connections in everything we do and certainly right down to the wine we choose to accompany our meals and special occasions.Click To Tweet

Here at Padilla we are working with other industry experts in analyzing big data to develop strategies to better tap those friends and family influencers for our food and beverage clients. Sounds interesting? Please reach out to me at Pablo.Olay@PadillaCo.com  if you want to help us crack the code.

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