Status games in Wine industry .pdf

Judges apparently rate iden tical wines differently

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Evidence supports this view. Judges apparently rate iden- tical wines differently depending on the label (Brochet 2001), and judges rate the same wines inconsistently in repeated tastings at the same event (Hodgson 2008). 148 / Journal of Marketing, September 2018
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and tasting notes. The better-scoring wine outsold the other ten to one. When the same wines were displayed with tasting notes only, sales were roughly even (McCoy 2005). By one estimate, an additional point from Parker generates 2.80 euros of revenue per bottle (Ali, Lecoq, and Visser 2008). A difference of ten points can mean millions of euros for a large-scale producer, and a perfect score of 100 can support a three- or fourfold price increase (McCoy 2005). In uencing In uencers Some market-driven fi rms pursue high scores from critics to achieve commercial success. Yet, in their pursuit of accolades from a small set of in uential critics, these fi rms produce a sea of similar wines (Darlington 2011). For a market-driving fi rm, engineering a wine to satisfy a critic is unthinkable. Angela, an executive at a California winery, expressed a common view among market-driving winemakers: You know everyone is making wine to please wine writers or to please some perception of their customer base. [Our winemaker] couldn t care less. Lorenzo, an executive at an Italian fi rm, said, We have never produced a wine in order to get a rating, never. I wouldn t say [the winemakers] don t care. Of course, we re happy when we receive good ratings, but we have never been in uenced by ratings during the production of the wine. While market-driving fi rms do not consider critical opinion when producing wine, they do build important relationships with journalists and critics. Through these relationships, a fi rm can describe its history, its winemaker, and its vision for the future. As one executive stated: It is important to be part of the conversation with the press. You need to be part of their world. If they have a question or if they have an interest in one of your brands, you want them to turn to you. I maintain this conversation. It s no longer an on- off conversation. It s continuous. (Alain) In these conversations, the voice of the winemaker is critical. The discussion focuses on the fi rm s view, its vision, rather than soliciting advice. As Alain recounted, Listening to a winemaker is basically like listening to an artist; once the work has been released, whether this is a painting or book or a bottle of wine, it s all about what s behind the work of art. What s your intent? How did you do it? The goal, as Alain describes, is to help the consumer discover the soul of the wine. By educating critics and the press about their vision, winemakers deploy their symbolic capital. This vision helps provide an interpretive schema for experiencing the product.
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