Hats and the rest of your kit off to Naked Wines, UK internet retailer, for putting one over wine marketers while telling them they’re useless and there’s more to wine than marketing spin. Earlier this year they persuaded the Aussie Trade Commission in London – an antipodean quango housed in Gringotts Wizarding Bank (“the only known bank of the wizarding world, and is owned and operated by Goblins”) from the Harry Potter franchise – to chip-in to a A$100 000 (R670K) pot so their customers can get naked and choose a selection of Aussie wines you’ve never heard of that they could then e-tail in the UK.
Which they certainly did with a Greedy Sheep Bordeaux-style blend from Margaret River (the Goblins will like that one) and a Chardonnay called Ladies Who Shoot Their Lunch, two of their choices.
Good marketing wheezes are worth repeating and with the WOSA (wines of SA, the exporters’ association) Mega-Tasting going down UK throats in Kangaroo Valley (Earls Court) on Tuesday, they’re repeating the crowd-powered event with SA in their sites to the tune of either R250K or R50K to spend (depending on which page of their website you read). WOSA are providing support but what a pity we can’t match the Aussie spend.
Rowan Gormley Naked CEO says “we want winemakers to be judged and rewarded for their ability to make wine, not the size of their marketing budget and we want wine drinkers to get the wines they choose and pay what the wine is worth to them.
For too long, wines success has been driven by the size of their marketing budget, not the talent of their winemaker. This marketing budget arms race has meant that UK wine lovers never see some of the best wines in the world, and talented winemakers never get to see their wines getting the recognition they deserve.”
Naked has invited 60 punters to taste 100 boutique SA wines on Tuesday at the WOSA Mega-Tasting. Based on the performance of coffee/mocha-style Pinotage at WineX last month, let’s hope they’re included. As tasting is done sighted (what’s the point of being naked if you’re blind?), funny names will undoubtedly feature as they did with the Aussie Experience. What a pity Bruce Jack has taken the Constellation shilling as his brand names are the wittiest in town, but now owned by the largest wine company in the world, his Flagstone brand is hardly boutique any more.
Will Avondale wines be part of the boutique line up in London? Judging by the nude winemaker, it would be well worth attending!