Bloomberg Businessweek: Wines Targeting Women Are Long on Legs, Short on Flavor

From Bloomberg Businessweek:

Freud struggled to find an answer to the question “What does a woman want?” Ninety-odd years later, some in the wine industry think they know.


According to the new “girly-wine” brand marketers, we want to be skinny, to toss our hair playfully like ponies as we pick our bottles to match moods, not foods. We also crave an easy-sipping flavor profile with a naughty edge of sweetness.

High-heeled shoes star in our fantasies. Well, maybe they got that one right. But aren’t Canadian wine maker Strut’s labels featuring photos of long, shapely, perfect legs emerging from short skirts a guy fantasy?

Just looking at them makes me want to forget about drinking and head for the gym.

In the past few years the wine world has finally discovered that women drinkers are a coveted customer niche.

Hello? We’re the sex that makes up nearly 60 percent of U.S. wine consumers, according to the Beverage Information Group’s 2011 Wine Handbook.

Which is why there are so many companies are starting up lines of wines for chicks. Most are targeting women 21 to 34, but their marketing efforts often treat this audience as if it had no more sophistication than a bevy of sorority sisters on spring break.

Flirty Moscato

Recently, global giant Treasury Wine Estates (TWE) launched four wines under the “Be.” label: Flirty, a pink moscato; Bright, a pinot grigio; Fresh, an unoaked chardonnay; and Radiant, a riesling.

I guess so-called Millennial women are supposed to only turn to wine when they’re feeling upbeat, not when they’re tired and grumpy at the end of the day. Treasury’s website describes the pinot grigio mood: “Your sunny disposition sets your soundtrack to the soothing sounds of a steel drum band as you flip flop through fabulousness.”

This new marketing vision also assumes all women are diet- obsessed. Last month, three lower-calorie Skinnygirl wines from Beam Global Spirits & Wine Inc. hit retail shelves. Beam claims a five-ounce glass of any of the Skinnygirl wines contain 100 calories. (Typically, most wines contain 110 to 125, unless they’re sweet dessert bottlings.)


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