Wines targeting women “short on flavour”

Bloomberg’s wine columnist Elin McCoy has slammed wines that target women as “long on legs, but short on flavour.”

Flirt 2010: a Syrah, Zinfandel and Tempranillo blend from California

Sampling a selection of wines designed specifically with women in mind blind, McCoy described the majority as tasting like “neutered commercial plonk.”

“Only three wines in the line-up stood out as barely acceptable chilled plastic cup party fare: 2011 Skinnygirl White, 2011 Skinnygirl Rose, and 2011 Be. Fresh Chardonnay,” she said.

“For the US$10-15 that most of these cutsey bottlings go for, drinkers seeking an emotional connection with what they swill in their glass could have real wine made by real people – think Rieslings, Proseccos, Rosés, Beaujolais, Argentinean Torrontés and Malbecs,” she added.

According to wine brand marketers, women pick wine to match moods, not foods. They also apparently crave an easy going, fruit forward flavor profile with an edge of sweetness.

McCoy believes many of the female-targeted wine brands are getting it drastically wrong.

“Aren’t Canadian winemaker Strut’s labels, featuring photos of long, shapely, perfect legs emerging from short skirts a guy fantasy?” she questions.

Women account for nearly 60% of wine consumers in the US, according to the Beverage Information Group’s 2011 Wine Handbook.

Hence the trend for start up wine brands targeted specifically at women, with most targeting women aged 21 to 34.

Strut Merlot 2007

Australian-based global wine giant Treasury Wine Estates recently launched four wines under the “Be.” label: Flirty, a pink Moscato; Bright, a Pinot Grigio; Fresh, an unoaked Chardonnay; and Radiant, a Riesling.

TWE’s website describes the Pinot Grigio drinker’s mood somewhat patronisingly: “Your sunny disposition sets your soundtrack to the soothing sounds of a steel drum band as you flip flop through fabulousness.”

In February, three low-calorie California wines from Beam Global Spirits & Wine Inc. hit US shelves under the Skinnygirl brand; the low-calorie cocktail brand made famous by American reality TV star Bethenny Frankel.

A five-ounce glass of any of the Skinnygirl wines, which include a Syrah blend, a Chardonnay/Pinot Grigio blend and a Grenache/Syrah rosé blend, contains 100 calories, as opposed to the average 110-125 calories.

Mary Ann Vangrin, creator of the Middle Sister wine brand, which has over 115,000 fans on Facebook, told McCoy that women look for wines that offer an “emotional connection.”

“Women don’t want a wine that bites back. They like ripe, fruit-forward wines without a lot of tannin and oak,” she said.

The 10-strong Middle Sister range has personality profile names like Drama Queen Pinot Grigio, Smarty Pants Chardonnay and the best-selling Rebel Red blend.

All, according to McCoy, share a “flavor-phobic house style.”

Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits meanwhile, which brought Yellow Tail to the US, has launched its own female friendly wine; Flirt, a Syrah, Zinfandel and Tempranillo blend.

4 Responses to “Wines targeting women “short on flavour””

  1. Yech! Who designs these labels?

  2. Helen McGinn says:

    Wow. Just, wow. Don’t think Karl designed those…

  3. Brett Jones says:

    So-called marketing to women is so patronising and condescending – horrible!

Leave a Reply to Helen McGinn Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please note that comments are subject to our posting guidelines in accordance with the Defamation Act 2013. Posts containing swear words, discrimination, offensive language and libellous or defamatory comments will not be approved.

We encourage debate in the comments section and always welcome feedback, but if you spot something you don't think is right, we ask that you leave an accurate email address so we can get back to you if we need to.

Subscribe to our newsletters

Senior Sales Executive

Hush Heath Estate
London/ Kent

Staff Writer

The Drinks Business
London, UK

On-Trade Wine Sales Manager

Madeera Wines Ltd.
London, UK

Head of Sales & Marketing

IWSC & Club Oenologique
London

Buyer - Investment Grade Whisky

Dalkeith Brokerage
London, UK

Commercial Analyst

Australian Vintage
Croydon, UK

Supply Chain Assistant (Maternity Cover)

Speciality Drinks
Elixir House, Whitby Avenue, Park Royal, NW10 7SF

National Account Manager : Multiple On Trade Accounts

Speciality Brands
Whitby Avenue, London NW10 7SF, UK

Sales Director – Europe

Jackson Family Wines
Europe (UK, Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland)

The Wine Show Chelsea 2019

London,United Kingdom
18th Oct 2019

WSTA Brexit Preparedness Seminar

London,United Kingdom
18th Oct 2019

Wines of Argentina - London

London,United Kingdom
22nd Oct 2019
Click to view more

The Global Malbec Masters 2019

Deadline : 25th October 2019

The Global Sauvignon Blanc Masters 2019

Deadline : 25th October 2019

Click to view more

The Global Cider Masters 2019

View Results

The Prosecco Masters 2019

View Results

Click to view more