Wine marketing has to be the least imaginative in the world. It takes one of two forms: there’s the plea to authenticity. So even wines from young countries such as Australia feel that they have to have a story about how in 1834 Hector McDougall arrived from Paisley and planted some grapes etc etc etc. Or there’s the lifestyle one which you see on the rare moments when wine makes it on telly: it’s all Pinot Grigio, chatty but sophisticated women, big sofas and a little Simply Red to get the party started. Compared with other alcoholic drinks, beer sold through humour, gin sold through culture (Hendricks) and whisky sold through national identity, wine is lagging behind.
That was why I was delighted to receive information from a new wine that is being launched over here called Apothic as it seems that Dan Brown was involved with their marketing campaign. Here’s an exert from their press release:
“Named after a mysterious place, Apotheca, where vintners stored their most coveted concoctions in 13th century Europe. . . ”
The fiction angle is continued on the bottle which looks like the cover of an upmarket horror writer, John Connolly perhaps. And, most audaciously, this angle is continued in the bottle because the contents actually have nothing to do with medieval vintners. The wine isn’t even from Europe, it’s Californian.
And the wine itself? Well I don’t think it’s really aimed at me. It’s a smooth, sweet red without any of the tannin or bitterness that red wine lovers learn to love. Basically it’s a red wine for people who wouldn’t normally drink red wine. Top wine writer Jamie Goode sums up its qualities rather well here.
Let’s hope that Apothic encourages wine marketing people to come up with something a bit more interesting in future. If Apothic can be inspired by Dan Brown, why don’t Tio Pepe do something with PG Wodehouse or KWV with Wilbur Smith?
Apothic Winemaker’s Blend 2011 soon to be ubiquitous for around £9 a bottle.