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A Wine Marketing Disaster

A Wine Marketing Disaster

by Tim Elliott on July 27, 2006

The other day I blogged about Cam Wheeler’s troubles with Graeme Miller Wines for posting his opinion of some of their wines on his blog. This was after reading what others had to say and a few days after Cam had first written about his situation. Several readers commented to my post, including Joel from Wine Life Today and Vivi’s Wine Journal who spread the news further. Yesterday Tom Wark, from one of my favorite blogs FERMENTATION, picked up the story and this provoked more discussion. Now the entire wine blogisphere knows the story and I’m sure others will post more about this in the next few days. When you Google Graeme Miller Wines today, 6 of the 10 first page results are blog posts covering this episode. Within a week, I predict this will be 8 or 9 posts deep. So I’d say this qualifies as a wine marketing disaster. It also illustrates the power and reach of wine blogging. I can’t imagine an issue like this tackled from all sides in such a thoughtful and comprehensive way anywhere else.

This entire situation could have easily been avoided through direct communication with the blogger in the comments and some additional samples mailed out for retasting. Alternatively, the winery could have just done nothing and let the issue die on it’s own.

Update Aug. 2: Today’s Google of Graeme Miller Wines yields 8 of 10 posts discussing this issue including both of my posts here. If bad news travels this fast, imagine the benefits of a discussion of how good your wines are. I’ll keep track of how long it takes for these posts to clear from the Google cache.

  • DancingDavidE

    Tim, I think that if you tasted a wine and found it disagreeable in many ways you are entitled to post about it, and if you thought it was a good example of the wine then I think your readers would want to hear your honest opinion.

    As Cam did, you should mention if it might be an “off” bottle or if it’s corked – we know that it happens and I wouldn’t let that stop me from trying a wine that otherwise interested me. If I purchased a corked bottle I can take it back and get a refund.

    But for a genuinely warranted low rating – I think it helps to have those to contrast to your generally favorable reviews.

  • Tim

    Thanks for your comment, Dave, but I disagree that corked or bottles that have gone bad through mistreatment like high temperatures should be reviewed. From Cam’s notes it would seem the wines themselves had flaws not related to these problems so it is fair game to write about these wines from my perspective. In reading some of the comment threads on other blogs, it would seem that most people are looking for wine recommendations and not wines to avoid, but from time to time such a warning might be an interesting change to further calibrate your palate to mine.


  • DancingDavidE

    No, I agree with you…don’t go into any detail.

    “I went to have this wine, and found a corked bottle”…that’s the extent of it. And only mention that much if you didn’t have a backup topic to post about.

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