Wine industry's inability to understand consumers is "preventing" many from liking wine

The wine industry is “preventing” the average consumer from fully “understanding and liking” wine as it has no idea how to communicate with them, according to Tim Hanni MW speaking at the Digital Wine Communications Conference this weekend.

The sector needs to have a fundamental change in the way it understands the market it is trying to reach if it is to truly help consumers, argued Hanni.

Instead of relying on a “gospel of wine” that was laid down back in the 1950s, the wine sector needs to look at consumers as completely different “vino types” who taste and appreciate wine in a multitude of different ways.

He argued the whole concept of food and wine pairing should be “eliminated” as it was based on a whole set of “delusions” akin to saying the world is flat. “It does not exist,” he claimed.

As we all taste food and wine differently how can we be 100% sure there is a definitive food match for every wine, asked Hanni.

The wine industry had also succeeded in “disenfranchising” a whole section of the public he called “super tasters” who are predisposed to like sweet wines.

“The wine industry is killing a huge opportunity as we don’t recognize a certain person who likes a certain kind of wine,” challenged Hanni.

Part of the reason he said that people are drinking less wine in France and Italy is that they used to make a lot of sweet wine that their consumers liked. But now sweet wine is seen to be no longer fashionable by the wine industry those consumers don’t have wines they can drink.

The opportunity, though, was there for the industry to really “communicate intimately” with consumers if only it could understand the way they taste wine and the sensory principles that we are all as individuals have.

Over 300 people from around the world attended the sixth annual DWCC conference, previously known as the European Wine Bloggers Conference, communicators, in Logrono, Rioja in Spain.

Readers' comments (4)

  • Completely agree. The wine industry is too obsessed with communicating with itself rather than with the consumer.

    Will Roger's simple observation that “when you go fishing you bait the hook, not with what you like but with what the fish likes”, seems to have completely passed them by.

    Choice is largely governed by emotion, yet the wine industry bangs on with rational points when it has one of the most emotional products on the market.

    They seem completely oblivious to the fact that it is not reality which counts, but perceptions. It's what people think that governs what they do. Is this a surprise? It appears so.

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  • to chluken et al, you might try learning about what I am proposing rather than ignorantly firing off your hip. After careful research of my premises and position the WSET and many other organizations are adopting my wine and food principles. And what in the world does the choice to address my alcoholism do with anything? I assure you I am a pretty capable guy when it comes to wine. I am not looking for headlines - I simply have 25 years of addressing and formally researching the delusions of the wine industry. Specifically the delusions you seem to be operating under.

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  • Unclear who Hanni is addressing. Who is chluken?

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  • There may be no "definitive" wine match for any dish but I don't think it is ludicrous for merchants or sommeliers to make suggestions?

    How different is it to the choice of sauce/combination of ingredients on the plate (otherwise known as recipes)? Are we all dreaming that some chefs combine ingredients and flavours better than others?

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