Category Archives: Wine

Dirty Marketing

Many years ago I worked as a concierge at an inn in Niagara-On-The-Lake. In that position, and due to the location, part of my responsibility was to be up-to-date on information about the various wines and wineries in the area. To help with that, every Friday a different winery representative would come to the inn, give us a tasting along with a short talk, and field any questions we had.

It was an enjoyable job which sparked an interest, and to this day I still follow the world of wines, though to a much lesser degree. A bit of news that I came across a couple of months ago really annoyed me, however.

Two wine companies are in a legal battle about the naming of their wines, and it is those names that irk me. One is called “Mommyjuice,” while the other is called “Mommy’s Time Out.”

I’m not denying that this is a key demographic. In fact, wineries across the board have realized that women 25 – 40 are target consumers, and this is why there has been a proliferation of reasonably priced wines with cute or stylish labels. Yellow Tail (a brand of Casella Wines) became an instant success with it’s artful wallaby, Vincor (itself a subsidiary of Constellation Brands) came up with Kumala, and Peller Estates created an entire subsidiary in Roundpetal to produce XOXO, Croc Crossing and others… all  to market to women.

I’m all in favour of the above. I think it is in a business’s best interest to locate potential buyers and market to them. Businesses that fail to do so alienate huge swaths of the populace.

My beef, however, is with the flagrant implications that “Mommyjuice” and “Mommy’s Time Out” create.

While being a stay-at-home mom is certainly a difficult and sometimes stressful job, and I take no issue with a parent enjoying a glass of wine at the end of the day, I find the implication that alcohol is the answer to be in poor taste. It is entirely possible to market to this demographic without the suggestion that the need for alcohol is in direct relation to their children.

In wine tasting lingo, a dirty wine is one that is poorly made, that gives off a foul or pungent smell. I define dirty marketing as much the same.

Disclaimer: I own shares in one of the companies mentioned in this post. I post the link not as a recommendation, but rather so readers can see what the bottles look like.