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Stop telling consumers 90 per cent of wines they drink are 'crap' warns Wilson

Published:  10 November, 2012

Telling consumers that 90% of wines they drink are "crap" is hardly the best way to attract new drinkers to the category, according to Damien Wilson of the Burgundy School of Business.

Wilson, who is director of the MSc in wine business at the school, said that with less people drinking wine around the world than 20 years ago it is essential the industry finds new ways to get more people back in to drinking wine.

Speaking during the second day of the EWBC Digital Wine Communications Conference in Izmir, Turkey, Wilson warned many in the wine trade were potentially turning people away from wine before they have had chance to fully engage in the category.

He singled out those in the industry who lambast consumers for drinking what they regard as the 90% of "crap" wines at the bottom end of the market. They then, he added, go one step further by criticising them for not drinking a whole different set of wines that they approve of.

"If I have just started drinking wine, do I want to be told that?" he asked.

"You have to find ways to make wines as appealing and as attractive to consumers compared to other drinks categories like beers and spirits."

Robert Joseph, wine consultant and commentator, said wineries continued to alienate the average drinker by talking to them in wine geek language that it is impossible for them to understand.

Gabriela Opaz, of conference organisers and digital specialist, agreed: "In the wine industry we don't act like humans."

* You can read a report on the highlights of the EWBC conference in Harpers Wine & Spirit's November 16 issue and follow events on the conference website,