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 *

Subscribe to our newsletters

Brand Manager

Hatch Mansfield
Ascot, Berkshire

Southern Regional Account Manager

Speciality Drinks
England, UK

Northern Regional Account Manager

Speciality Drinks
England, UK

Fine Wine Buyer

FINE+RARE Ltd
London, UK

Awards Sales Executive – France

Decanter
London, UK

Sales Executive / Brand Ambassador

Elixir Distillers
London, UK

Brand Development Executive

Elixir Distillers
London, UK

Sales Administrator

Company details: Advised on application
London W1

London Account Manager

Speciality Drinks
London, UK

Sales Administrator Customer Service

Ellis Wines
Hanworth, Middx

Pink Rosé Festival

Cannes,France
7th Feb 2019

Wine Paris

Paris,France
11th Feb 2019

IBWSS UK

London,United Kingdom
11th Mar 2019
Click to view more

The Global Fortified Masters 2018

Deadline : 25th January 2019

The Global Pinot Noir Masters 2019

Deadline : 1st February 2019

Click to view more

Rioja Masters 2018

View Results

The Global Beer Competition

View Results

Click to view more