Friday, November 6, 2009

How (not) to sell a budget Shiraz (?)

I'm on the mailing list of one local wine shop whose marketing emails generally seem to border on self parody. They're always pitching a Shiraz or Chardonnay because of its intensity and richness using terms straight out of the Parker lexicon, and the price is always around $15.

Maybe the owner sincerely likes these wines, but given that the emails tend only to pitch a single wine, more often than not I get the impression they're very profitable wines they can sell in quantity. Gotta stay in business. I get it. But this latest email, which I'll break down below, is simply over the top. Names are removed to protect the innocent. The email starts with a perverse flourish, then snowballs from there:
Vintages (and size) both matter.
Ed: What is this, a male enhancement commercial?

[Wine Name Redacted] 2008 Shiraz...$11.99

I've been a fan of [Wine Name Redacted] since the first vintage I tasted, about four years ago. Made by the talented [Winemaker Redacted], this uber-value has achieved a new, unexpected level of succulence and overtly hedonistic flavors in the 2008 vintage.

Ed: Great, hedonistic AND ultra-value. No mention of balance or elegance, however . . . .

Tangled up in blue

This olfactory-encompassing Aussie stains the glass, the palate and beyond. Your dental hygienist will berate you at the next cleaning because traces of this purple/black beastie will permanently darken your smile. If you spill it anywhere at home, plan on reupholstering the sofa, tearing out the carpeting and burning any clothing it accidentally soaks into. Handle with care...

Ed: I get it, this wine is so over-extracted it will wreck everything in its path. Sounds like a great selling point!

It's well worth the danger

South Australia keeps producing and sending us these powerhouse Shiraz (Shirazes?), and we gladly savor them, especially in this thrifty price range.

[review snipped . . . .]

This Aussie will give you a purple grin without looting your bank account!
Ed: Finally, a positive selling point. While this wine will ruin your teeth, clothing, carpet, sofa, human relationships, and potentially give you a massive hard-on, it won't rob you at gunpoint.

And you wonder why I'm cynical about cheap Aussie Shiraz?

9 comments:

Jeff said...

I must not be subscribed to whatever shop that is...haha. Reminds me of Wally's here in LA. Points! Points, and more points!

CabFrancoPhile said...

I didn't include the review with the ratings. But 90 points is usually some part of the selling tactic.

Jeff said...

I just view the words intense, extracted, etc...as proxies for the whole "90 points" thing...good point though--I didn't even notice there wasn't a score.

Do you get the Garagiste emails? They're funny in a different way, because they'll wax poetic about a wine, blah, blah, blah, blah, for three or four paragraphs and then, wait for it!--87 points. Highly recommended. It's the anti-point selling system, but the funny thing is, they use a lot of the same lexicon.

CabFrancoPhile said...

I was on Garagiste, but I think I lost interest when they were pitching some artisan water from NZ. Everything sounded just so amazing, over the top, and esoteric, it seemed too good to be true (water aside). I decided it would be financially dangerous to keep being tempted by their prose.

Jeff said...

Funny...yeah. Most of the time I don't read them, but they do have some great deals from time to time if you're willing to wait for your wine. It is dangerous though...getting very tempted by all the 07 Rhone stuff, but so far I've held off save 2 bottles of Vieux Telegraphe and 3 of the Telegramme.

CabFrancoPhile said...

Ah yes, 2007 Rhone, the vintage Parker called the greatest anywhere, ever. I'm hoping for some mid-level 04, 05 and 06 to fall through the cracks as a result.

Isn't Vieux Telegraph a Kermit Lynch import? So it should have both good fruit and traditional style. Nice.

Jeff said...

Yeah, Kermit Lynch. You should look for the Telegramme, which is Vieux Telegraphe's second wine from all the Young Vines. It's around 30$. I've got one bottle of the 05 left; already drank the other two...they were really good. This year, I bought some of the Big one because I figure that it's time that I start occasionally tasting the "iconic" wines of the world. Both of the 04 CDP's that I've had have been really good; I have a bunch of 05's, but you're right--I think there will be a lot of 06 in particular that will fall through the cracks in the coming months.

Tricerapops said...

'massive hard-on' - haha, excellent!

glad i've stumbled upon this blog amidst the blogosphere wilderness

CabFrancoPhile said...

Happy you enjoyed the post, T-pops. I'm going to make an effort to include more cynical humor with my general cynicism!