Wine: the Most Confusing Product You Can Buy

Wine: the Most Confusing Product You Can Buy

November 22, 2017

Hear us out… it’s true when you think about it. Despite all the efforts of signage, information, abundant internet articles (like this one!) and the industry itself standardising certain types and styles, wine remains the one product that can throw even the hardened experts for six.

Let’s think about it like this. When you shop for groceries, there are plenty of products you regularly buy without much of a second thought: bread, milk, butter, salt and pepper, tomato sauce, jam, and so on. Although there are different varieties of these products, there’s not much detail to complicate the purchase. Your milk choices for example are pretty limited - you’re looking at which fat percentage you prefer, but as a general choice, the decision-making process is simple. We even have easily recognisable coloured caps on the packaging!

Cast your mind back to the last time you walked into your local bottle shop (if you’re like us, you don’t have strain to cast it back too far). Envisaging wall-to-wall wine, a small spirits section and a cool room for beer somewhere out the back? Thought so.


There are so many more wine products available than these other drinks, and as a result, wine tends to take up a staggeringly huge percentage of floorspace at most stores. Considering wine drinkers command a TINY portion of the market (global wine consumption amounted to 25.76 billion litres in 2014, whereas beer, lager and cider was 396.76 billion!), the trends are important to consider. A genius mixture of marketing, timing, globalisation and innovation has meant that we live in a golden age, where wine is more popular than ever! To keep up with demand, producers are shipping their products out further and wider - and indeed there are now more producers making wine than ever before, as well. Yay… except that this spoiled-for-choice situation means that even the best of us can become a bit overwhelmed.


Wine is also unusual in the number of ways one product is different from another, which in turn creates even more choice for the consumer. We’ve got the basic red, white, sparkling, rose, fortified, plus also where it is made (both country and region or area), which grape/s it’s made from, the year it was made, and of course, price... and those are just the basic factors. When you multiply the possible different products this could result in, the choices you’re left with are almost too enormous to grasp.

Okay so, it’s big, complicated and hard to get a grip on the possibilities of the wine industry as a whole. Now we’re used to a world of choice where everything is ‘on demand’ though, could we go back to the way things used to be? Almost every wine drinker will probably answer ‘no’, because we’re all used to having the choices that we now have - not just with wine, but also everything else in fast-paced modern life. Besides that, trying new wines can be both enlightening and fun! It does mean though, that you might sometimes have that little nagging feeling, deep down, that you’re missing the most incredible wine as a matter of simple oversight. It might be tucked away on a shelf that you’ve never looked closely at, or perhaps something you don’t try because, well, it’s quite frankly a bit of a gamble.

People are funny creatures - we have both the desire for novelty and the desire for simplicity. It’s not surprising then that the wine industry has a number of campaigns and initiatives designed to help invoke this desire for novelty, but make it easy, and considered. Providing awards to wine producers and products provides the consumer with the assurance that the product has been trialled and tested by expert panels, for example, so that they can feel confident in the quality of the product.

As more of a wine experience rather than just wine delivery, Bottle Service was borne through this angst of turning up to a liquor store, feeling overwhelmed, and through habit, falling into the familiar - despite wanting something exciting, new, or different.  


Through more information, more experimentation and more exposure, we feel that everyone now has the opportunity to become the expert in what they feel is a delicious wine. After all, with all the choice out there, it’d be a shame not to make the most of it, and find out what a truly great wine is to you.

Cheers!




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