A tip o’ the Wine Curmudgeon’s fedora to two of the blog’s regular readers, Rich Liebman and Denise T., who emailed me with the solution to Friday’s Coppola alicante bouschet mystery. World Market was selling the new vintage of the wine for $9 over the weekend, and sent an email telling its customers about the sale.
Apparently, people who received the email did a Google search and came up with my four-year-old review, and the blog numbers over the weekend took an appropriate upward tick. For which I am most grateful, since late summer weekends are usually pretty slow. Hopefully, the review helped the new visitors make up their mind about whether to buy the wine (and that they’ll come back more often).
In this, it speaks to one of my favorite subjects – how Americans buy wine. The alicante was a $9 wine from a well-known producer that was being sold by a trusted retailer, but that didn’t stop people from searching for a review. They couldn’t decide to buy it without a third-party opinion, and if I’m a boss at Coppola or World Market, that would worry me. If my brand isn’t enough to sell a cheap wine, something may be wrong with my brand.
In fact, the alicante in the ad is the 2008 vintage ($9, purchased),and it’s starting to show its age. Much of the fruit is gone, and what’s left is dark and plummy, with a bit of a sour edge. But, given when it was made, that’s not surprising. The other thing this demonstrates is that Americans, faced with a wine that isn’t cabernet sauvignon, merlot, or chardonnay, get confused. And we have the wine business, with its unending commitment to consumer education, to thank for that.