Blind Wine Marketing

Marketing are those costs and efforts wineries have to absorb to move product. The objective is to maximize true value. The less you spend on effective marketing, the better. More money for other stuff, like oak barrels or keeping your loyal folks happy, be that consumers or employees.

If this is true, why would wineries spend money when what they receive for it cannot be quantified nor monetized, preventing an ROI (Return On Investment) that makes sense? I call this “Blind Wine Marketing”. You’re spending money in the hope there is a benefit, though you find yourself unable to linearly attribute the gains. At the end of the day (or night), the benefit of that money spent must be greater than the cost – period.

Bottles with Blinders!

So, what do you get for the wine profile fee of between $65 to $100 at WineMatch. Man, this is going to be a long post! Those items with an asterisk (*) are those things unique to WineMatch.

– Wine published withing 30 days of receipt – GUARANTEED*
– Wine published to coincide with Release date*
– Notified the second it is published*
– Published to Twitter
– Published to Facebook
– Published to WineMatch RSS feed
– No annual fees
– No data maintenance fees
– Match other wines with yours*
– Match your wines with others*
– Put in your Deals and Events in for Free
– Push your deals out to consumers*
– Push your events out to consumers*
– Free to the consumer*

OK, so I stuck to the short list to not lose you. So now let’s answer questions that others clearly cannot. Let’s start with Wine Advocate. On their own website, there is a section under this link called ” QUESTIONS WE CAN’T ANSWER”. Here’s an excerpt:

What wines will be covered in the next issue of The Wine Advocate?
Or … When will the next issue of The Wine Advocate be mailed?
Or … I am a winemaker. How can I get my wines reviewed in The Wine Advocate?
Or … What does Mr. Parker think of this year’s vintage in [your favorite wine region here]?
Or … Why wasn’t my favorite wine reviewed in The Wine Advocate this year?

In short, you don’t know when you’ll get the magazine, what wines will be covered (this is reasonable to an extent), but the question I struggle with like a person underwater in handcuffs, is that apparently there is no way for a winemaker to guarantee to get their wines reviewed and thus achieve visibility. As a winery owner or a pilot, I find myself looking for the ‘control stick’? Feels a little bit like the great and powerful Oz might be in charge here. Please understand that it is the system I disagree with as I actually like the Wiz! Also as consumer, you gotta pay $99 per year. Looking for the win here….

Let’s move on to Wine Spectator. This is a most interesting model. Charge wineries heavily for advertising, yet provide few metrics as printed material does not talk (at least not yet). Here’s one of the kickers. When I asked what circulation was today, I was told 2 to 2.5 million. I asked “Is this how many you print or is there a factoring of how often it gets passed around?” I then received the the numbers 200k, 300k to 400k, which I find to be a pretty large variance, but surely the information is held closely. When I inquired about ad space, I was told $40,000 for a full page for a single issue. Gotta sell a few thousand cases to have that make sense. Though I find the price quite high, I try to rationalize that with “OK, what return did I get for the $40k?” Unfortunately, it does not appear to be quantifiable, which would make me struggle with spending that amount of coin, but hey, that’s me and my belt is tight. So to be frugal, I looked at their web advertising, and $5,000 for 150,000 impressions comes to $30 per thousand impressions, which is at least 50% more than market rates for this industry. I especially like item 14 of their contract and I quote “Publisher reserves the right to reject, exclude, or cancel any advertisement, insertion order, space reservation or position commitment at any time, for any reason, without liability, even if previously acknowledged or accepted.Ouch! Makes me feel like a distant second cousin. . Also, if you’re a consumer, you’ll pony up $75 a year annually to read their blogs and peruse through their data. No win here either.

Look folks, I would be the very first to tell that WineMatch is not the size of these two outfits – at least not yet. But I would also submit to you, that as a winery, should be able to submit wines without paying through the nose and be 100% assured it will see the light of day within a month. I find that more than reasonable, and the only one right now that is not sure I am reasonable is my nine-year old in search of purchasing her very own iPod Touch so she can spread her wings. Advice here is welcomed as well! Also, on the very same day the wine is published, it will see posts to facebook, twitter, and our very own RSS feed. And yes, our site links are SEO-optimized to maximize your web presence as well.

For zero dollars and zero cents (and we’d go lower if we could), you can take us for a spin. Even Gary V can’t resist a deal like that! Submit your first wine for free and watch the magic! Winery-to-Consumer (W2C) is our model, and the fun thing is, we do it in real-time!

WineMatch. Come on, we don’t bite – much!


About misteredwine

Owner of,, love wine, horses, things done right, my three girls and two boys, Paris and most things French, technology that works, Rogue River Blue Cheese, a day off!
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