Tag Archives: Riunite

Winebits 239: Sweet red wine, grape shortage, wine blogging

Riunite goes sweet: Because, as it was once explained to me, the flagship Ruinite Lambrusco, the pure and natural wine, can’t be called sweet, only soft. Hence two new wines from Banfi, which makes Riunite — Sweet Red and Sweet White for $6 a bottle, reports Shanken News Daily. The target audience is women 25 and older, and Banfi is spending $2 million for a digital ad campaign to promote the new wines. Which, for those who wonder if there really is anything to this sweet red thing, this probably means yes. One has to try to spend $2 million digitally, and Banfi is well known as a good marketer.

Whither the grape shortageRob McMillan at Silicon Valley Bank, perhaps the leading U.S. wine business analyst, was one of the first to sound the alarm about an impending California grape shortage. He even left a comment on the blog. Now, McMillan isn’t so sure. He writes: “The distinct possibility that the supply that we said was ‘trending to shortage’ early this year, might just be equalized for another season.” He cites good weather that could turn into a possible record crop in California, as well as cheaper imported wine that is holding down the price of bulk wine. And, because he has a sense of humor, McMillan also offers wine business investing advice. He tells the story of one wise guy who is buying California grape land figuring to make a killing from the grape shortage that may not be a shortage.

Win blogging award finalists: And, once again, the Wine Curmudgeon is not among them. But that's OK. The Italian Wine Guy, in one of his other blogging voices, explained that I'm not a wine writer, but someone who writes about wine, which is a significant difference in this business. And you know what? I'd rather be someone who writes about wine. That said, I'm rooting for Randal Grahm, Blake Gray, and the Italian Wine Guy in their respective categories.

Riunite on ice — so nice

The Wine Curmudgeon’s recent foray into sweet red wine brought Riunite to mind, which those of us of a certain age will remember (how fondly depends, of course, on how much Riunite one drank in those days). Riunite was one of the first sweet reds, but even then, it wasn’t polite to call the wine sweet — it was “soft.”

YouTube has a surprising number of vintage Riunite commercials, as well as a bunch that re-do the brand for more modern sensibilities (part of a program called Riunite Reinvented that the producer held several years ago). The older commercials, most from the early 1980s, sport a bouncy, Gloria Gaynor beat; some incredible late 1970s clothing styles; and the infamous jingle, which worms its way into your head like a computer virus.

I chose this commercial (courtesy of DrMagic) mostly because it was a bit different — wine and food pairings were not exactly common back then. Wine with tacos? But if you want to see any of the others, in all their well-scrubbed, hard-smiling model glory, do a YouTube search for “Riunite commercial.” Because it is so nice.

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