Bulk Market Wine vs. Small Production Wine
What does bulk market wine versus small production wine mean? Heavily marketed wine brands (I will not mention), subliminally and often very overtly embed their logos, names, and labels into your subconscious through advertising. These are “brands”, and they use quite a different business model and philosophy than a “small production”, or “quality focused” winery. Very often these big brands are using lower quality fruit they are able to acquire at cheap prices in order to maximize profits. Current winemaking technology, ie.chemicals and additives, also enable these big brands to create a consistent style of wine that tastes the same year over year.
Just like other major brands outside the wine industry, such as Coca-Cola, Nike, or Facebook, some wine companies build their brands with consumer sales in mind. Sadly most of these wine companies have very little concern about the quality of the actual grapes they are using, or end product in the bottle. You may love the wines you drink from some of the big brands, and there is absolutely no judgement if you do. It is, however, important to understand the difference, so you can make an informed wine buying and drinking decision based on your values and not what any particular brand thinks you should drink! Not what you’ve been subtly(or not so subtly) tricked into thinking you want through advertising campaigns and pretty colors.
Wine is made from grapes, which makes it an agricultural product. It’s also a product that needs to be made by the hands of a skilled winemaker. Sure some things need to be added in the process (like sulfer or cultured yeasts in many cases), but there should be a limit to how much you will accept in your wines if you want to have an elevated conversation and understanding of wine. There are many more additives that are allowed by wineries that don’t exactly scream health or quality conscious.
Marketing is a great tool. It is useful and necessary to sell products. There is nothing inherently wrong with marketing and advertising, or the use of it in selling wine. Now some companies will alter/hide/bend the truth in order to seem “better” or more desirable than they may actually be… that’s no good, that’s Not Notable, and those are the companies I implore you to seek out and actively avoid.
Do you drink that glass of red wine or two every night for the “health benefits”? If you really are trying to receive the health benefits from a glass or two of wine, it is even more important you learn to discern from the bulk market and small producers. The wine industry is no different than any other industry. There are scam artists, swindlers, and bottom feeders that will tell you anything to get your money. The industry is also full of hard working, honest, caring, and passionate people as well.
Having been in the wine industry for half my life, I learned how to sell both bulk and quality wines. I know of one major difference in the techniques. That major difference is truth. It’s easy to tell lies that sound true, or make up stories that may be true in some contexts. The reality is, there is very little truth in selling bulk, mass produced, big brand wines, but it has been done for centuries and there’s no chance they will stop now. Once the market is sold on it, the lies aren’t even necessary any more because the machine has been built, the wines are stacked in your grocery and liquor stores and the profits begin to turn. The damage is done, and you get to drink your mega purple and additives as you see fit.
Honesty can sometimes be a hard thing to find, especially in a consumer driven world where everyone wants to make a sale. The honest brands, and truthful small production winemakers are out there in abundance, but they get grossly overshadowed by the Bulk Market producers. Who would you rather support? Does it matter to you? Have you been drinking bulk market wine without realizing it? Do you want to step out of the same old process of buying the same brand to elevate your experience?
These are the questions I’ve learned to answer, I hope you’ll join me and answer these questions honestly for yourself. Please join me in my journey to find all the great wine products from around the world we can feel good supporting. Believe it or not, they can also be fantastic values that may not cost much more than your current swill ;-)!
For more information, and help finding those great values and small producers, please connect with me on INSTAGRAM & FACEBOOK. I’d love to help guide you to Truly Notable Wine Drinking!! Cheers!