Wine Industry & Marketing Blog

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Annette Alvarez-Peters, Costco, and Wine

As Costco's head of wine purchasing since 2003, Annette Alvarez-Peters is the most powerful person in the wine industry whom you've never heard of — and quite possibly one of the most powerful people in the wine industry overall. Alvarez-Peters is responsible for purchasing over $1 billion of wine for Costco every year.

That buys Alvarez-Peters and Costco a lot of influence and power, too.

Read more: Annette Alvarez-Peters, Costco, and Wine

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New Jersey Wine? Hopes Being Raised for South Jersey Vineyards

Coming soon to a store near you: wines from New Jersey! If the prospect of wines from New Jersey sounds like the beginning of a bad joke, consider the fact that the prospect of good wines from California was once considered a joke as well. Today, California wines are drunk and praised all over the world.

The same might happen with wines from New Jersey — and from South Jersey in particular. Recent legal changes in New Jersey laws are about to make it possible.

Read more: New Jersey Wine? Hopes Being Raised for South Jersey Vineyards

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The economic problems in Europe are affecting wine drinking. Surprised? Spain has the highest unemployment in the entire European Union — 22.6 percent! This is causing Spanish wine drinkers to switch to cheaper wines, to drinking at home, and to foregoing wine entirely. Sad days indeed.

Read more: Wine Consumption Dropping in Spain

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Chateau NASCAR? Are NASCAR Wines a Sign of NASCAR Decline?
Jeff Gordon, NASCAR #24
Photo © anthony_goto

Wine is not the first thing one associates with NASCAR and American stock car racing, but interest in and the popularity of wine has been growing in the NASCAR world. The linking of wine with NASCAR and stock car racing in America may seem odd to outsiders who tend to associate beer with NASCAR, but it should be a long-term benefit for the wine industry because it will lead more and more people to being introduced to more and better wines — especially people who might otherwise see wine as too elitist.

Unfortunately, the introduction of wine into NASCAR is not proceeding in a trouble-free or criticism-free manner. Some people object precisely because they continue to perceive wine as too elitist — and some of that is the fault of those responsible for bringing the wine into the NASCAR world. Others object not because of the wine itself, but because they see it as a symptom of a deeper problem: the treatment of NASCAR as little more than a marketing vehicle, a platform for corporate networking, and a means for extracting money from fans of car racing. They have an even better point.

Read more: Chateau NASCAR? Are NASCAR Wines a Sign of NASCAR Decline?

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Green Boxed Wines
Boxed Wine
Photo © ckramer

There's nothing new about wine in a box; in fact, boxed wine has been around for more than 30 years now but it's overall popularity remains relatively low. People remain at least a little suspicious about the quality of boxed wine and given how poor the early boxed wines could be, that's hardly surprising. Nevertheless, quality has improved, selection has improved, and the value of boxed wine is generally high.

Added to this is the fact that boxed wine is also very environmentally friendly. That hasn't always been a consideration, but more and more people are becoming more and more concerned with the environmental impact of their actions, their choices, and their purchases. Boxed wine is one way people are choosing to have a less damaging impact on the environment when drinking wine.

Read more: Green Boxed Wines

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A few days ago I wrote about how the world economic problems might impact wine consumption, but now there are some hard facts about wine consumption during 2008: overall there was a world-wide decline in wine consumption, but the decline wasn't equal everywhere. Some areas declined more while other areas were relatively stable.

Read more: Shifts, Decline in World Wine Consumption

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If you thought that wine was more of a man's world, then you were very, very wrong — at least when it comes to the purchase and consumption of wine. Institutions and companies in the wine industry might still be dominated by men like so many other parts of society, but they won't be able to ignore or dismiss the evidence that wine consumers — the people who keep wine makers in business — are more female than male.

According to a new study, eight out of every ten bottles of wine are purchased by women. These women aren't buying wine based on what is "trendy" or "fashionable" and they aren't simply following whatever lead might be set by men. Instead, women are confidently buying wine based on their own judgement of what tastes good. This study is based on a survey of more than four thousand women in France, Germany, Japan, the UK, and America.

Read more: Cherchez La Femme? Women & Wine

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What will happen to wine sales and wine drinking during a bad economy? Will economic recession cause a reduction in wine sales and wine drinking, or will the tough times cause people to turn to drinking wine — and alcohol of all of types — in ever greater amounts? Both seem plausible and in fact both appear to be happening at the same time: people are drinking more, but they are changing what they drink to accommodate their economic circumstances.

Read more: Drinking, Selling Wine in a Recession

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