A wine buyer at an upscale grocery store once told me his biggest pet peeve was the "Me, too" wine sales rep. The buyer would put up a successful display of, say, a $14.99 Chianti Classico Riserva, and the competing sales reps would all pitch their own Chianti Classico Riservas for display.
"My kingdom for an original idea."
The "Me, too" yahoo is in many ways responsible for that "dizzying array of wines available today" I mentioned in my first post. When Pinot Grigio sales took off in this country, so too did the number of wineries making it. Me, too, try ours.
The phenomenal success of Yellow Tail led many major wine companies to create their own critter-label brands. Me, too, ours is cuter.
Syrah? Me, too. Pinot Noir? Hey, me, too. Riesling? Ah, ah. . .yeah, me, too.
These are called "line extensions" which marketers like to say take advantage of the "halo effect" of a well-regarded brand name. But they dilute and weaken the reputations of wineries. Jack of all trades, master of none.
Starting with Robert Mondavi back in the 1980's, many Napa Valley-based wineries loaned their names to wines grown from, well, somewhere in CA. Beaulieu (BV), Beringer, Mondavi, Sterling, and others unhinged their names from Napa Valley. Yes, they all still produce Napa-grown wines, but that's just for the halo effect, a cynic might say. Me, too.