Cavalcade of Covid Creativity

New Products and Services for Wineries

I’ve been on the receiving end of several pitches for new products and services from startup companies looking to help promote the wine business and potentially my clients. Why now I’m wondering? It seems that Covid-19 has unleased the creativity, resources and marketing talents of many erstwhile service providers seeking to enter the business. The programs range from river cruises to loyalty credit cards for wine lovers; from wine mapping and appointment apps to virtual tasting programs; consumer shipping and distribution services for small producers, to creative media outlets including new podcasts, mobile apps and Wine TV shows.

If you’re interested in details on any of the above, contact me by email and I’d be happy to share what I’ve learned. Today, I’d like to highlight an interesting online value purchase platform called Wine Insiders. I was contacted by the company and sent wines to review, but for this article I will review the company value proposition and timing for market entry. I will also comment on two of the wines.

Just six months ago, wine shipping lagged other commodities. This is no longer the case. Stay at home orders in most states prompted online wine purchases by consumers that had never purchased wine DTC in the past. As the pandemic carries on and employment lingers, value priced quality wine will continue to attract more buyers. That’s where Wine Insiders comes in. From their press release:

  • #1 transactional marketplace by volume
  • #1 rated wine site in the country with over 3,000 5-star reviews on Google Stores
  • Over 6 million orders from 2 million households across the nation
  • $400 million revenue to date
  • Tech-savvy audience: 47% of revenue comes from mobile devices

Wow, who knew? According to this well-timed press release on March 17th (did they nail pantry-stocking or what?), Wine Insiders is a brand marketing company that has been around for 38 years, and they have launched another remake of their program. If you are interested in wines in the $8-$20 U.S. range, a fan of Wine Insiders’ partner Martha Stewart’s and her fav value wines, or no-charge shipping (6 bottles+), this might be the site for you to explore – https://wineinsiders.com/

My wife and I tasted through the six wines we received. Here are some notes from our two favorites.

2019 Cantina di Solopaca Falanghina, Benvento, Italy. 13% Alc. $22 $17

This white wine is pale yellow to straw colored, very clear and translucent in the glass. Lemon aromas were predominant on the nose with light white flower notes. On the palate, this was a balanced dry wine with nice floral and citrus notes and good acidity. Pair with salad if you like lemon-based dressing.

We would classify this as a “liar” grape in that it opens off-dry, but finishes quite dry. This is a fun wine with mouth-watering acidity which we decided to enjoy with our dinner, a salmon and pesto pasta. We’d buy and recommend.

2019 Fuerza de la Tierra Tempranillo, La Mancha, Spain 13% Alc. $20 $15

This red wine is intensely deep purple, almost opaque and very pretty in color. We couldn’t stop noticing its appearance. We got dark red fruit and pleasant earthy/herbal/vegetal notes on the nose. This is a medium acidity and medium tannin wine that is built for food now, but we feel will benefit from at least 1-2 years in your cellar. We’d call this a “bad boy” Tempranillo, aggressive but with promise, like an adolescent needing time to mature. We like it, recommend, and would buy. Pair with meat, heavy sauces or savory dishes.

For label images of these two reviews, please check my social media sites – Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @CarlGiavanti

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