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I walk right past all those cute wine bottles in the store. I find it patronizing that some wine marketers think I need to see a styled "girlie" bottle with a clever name to interest me in wine. I imagine some women are intimidated in the wine store and some will buy the Little Black Dress and the like. But as a marketer, I wonder if marketing to the least informed consumers is a good strategy.

Adam Krieger

Yellow Tail before it did advertising? The only reason Yellow Tail exists is because of their advertising and marketing strategy. It is like the boy band of the wine world. The brand has only been in the US for 5 years and it has never been sold in Australia. They have run advertising campaigns from the beginning. That's the only reason they sold 2.2 million cases of the garbage the second year it was in the market.

jeannine McChesney

I will never and have never bought the "girl" wines. When it is over designed and over marketed I know to stear clear. I am no fool.

Mary Schmidt

I admit, I have on occasion bought a wine because it had a cool label - but never a "cute" one. And, I don't buy a second bottle if the wine doesn't taste good.

(I also like Yellow Tail, even if it is garbage ;-)

I think this is another example of the ol' "hey, slap some pink paint on it and we'll be marketing to women!" kneejerk marketing.


I used to work in the restaurant industry, (a server in a fine dining establishment, the vineyard house) and attended gazillions of wine 'trade shows' and kept up on my education because i sold to our customers. I get annoyed with pretentiousness and always had an inclusive and simplified approach to selling wine to my customers. If you are drinking a high dollar, sophisticated red with your steak, but don't like it, what's the point??- so if you like yellowtail, then it's a great wine, don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

On the marketing thing, I also never paid attention to ads, even after i got out of the restuarant thing. Word of mouth pretty much- ***however***, I also on occasion picked up a bottle or two because of the cool design. Part of that must be because i am an artist and naturally effected by visuals. What can i say, i'm a sucker for super cool packaging. **and***, if i don't like it, i just won't pick it up again, whoopdie doo.


There are 42 million or so women out here who might not have a "little" black dress. It might be a large black dress. And we drink wine, too. If they want to market to me, why don't they try a little education? Simple things like -- "Steak tonight? Try our Bodacious Red Wine with it." I, too, buy wine based on the label. But I also look for the story. If I can find out something about the makers, then I have that emotional hook that is important to women. That's one reason I buy Coppola wines. I know the story. I'd love to know how "Little Black Dress" tested with their customer groups. And, finally, here's another vote for Yellow Tail -- taste and price.


Barf! I agree with the reader/blogger who pukes at "her too" marketing campaigns. I, for one, shop by the point system. Tacky yet efficient. I have to say, there has never been a better marketing campaign than the points system. If you can get an 89 or better, you're in. Maybe we are jsut missing who the target market is? Who IS the target market? If it's me, they've missed, but I am guessing it's new wine drinkers who happen to be female. Maybe I've had too much to drink.

Robert Paulson

I think that the wine industry in general is missing a great big opportunity (and may have already let it pass by) - one that the cigar industry did not miss.

I was/am one of those people who for a time was interested in learning more about wine; which wines would suit my tastebuds, how to select appropriately for a meal or event. But the industry seemed smug enough to not want my business and did little to welcome me into the fold.

But the cigar industry saw the opportunity and seized it. Magazines with primers in every issue, knowledgeable tobacconists to help you settle into a good 5-6 favorite cigars, events in every major city with cigar company sponsorships, introducing new friends to each other and old friends to new cigars. All the while a natural industry accompaniment, wine, was sitting on the sidelines, nose tilted upward, sniffing "I'd rather not."

It's too bad, really. One can spend beyond $500 for a box of excellent cigars - a nice bottle of wine can be found for that much, no?

So this brand is trying to make wine more accessible to those women interested in learning more about the magical grape. Why not let 'em? The marketing seems at least as good as those that put together the "Yellow Tail" name - sounds like it ought to be on the shelf next to "Boon Ass Vino" - a bargain at 3 for $5 (which by the way, tastes great with an Ashton Double Magnum).

Sheryl Kravitz

I resent being marketed to this way. What difference does my gender make with regard to wine selection? Absolutely none. The basis for good wine has nothing to do with who drinks but rather who makes it.



I agree with you, too. Virgin? Black Dress?

In a former life I was a bartender at a four-star restaurant near Santa Fe. It taught me a lot about great wines. Mostly, I still think it's magical to walk into a grocery store and buy a bottle of wine for $ 20 that I'd have to pay $ 70 - $ 80 for in a restaurant. (Little things make me happy.)

Nobody has mentioned "Fat Bastard" yet -- the perfect gift.

Sometimes "innovative and bold" gets my attention; but, the wine has to match the innovation and boldness of the label.

Other times, the wine's heritage or legacy makes me buy that first bottle. Like the winery in Del Rio, Texas (Val Verde) who tells you that some of their vineyards are from vines brought by Spanish missionaries over 300 years ago. (Shades of "French Kiss ...") Some of their wines (and their port), hold up, by the way.

Let's not forget the influence of the rating and award history.

Thanks Michele, for this adventure in wines and marketing.

Kyle King


Great post, as I am a delighted fan of red wine (mostly) and also feel that the marketing element that works the very best is word of mouth... as that's where the real "taste" resides.

Just being a Californian doesn't mean that I have the innate ability to "know" what good wine is because of the label or some weird osmosis due to my physical proximity to grapevines and vineyards. In fact, I have found that making my way to a wine bar and playing dumb, creates an air of "let me help you" support from the staff, or a neighboring table of half sloshed patrons. Really works every time. I've even found that lingering in front of a stash of wine at the store with a perplexed look on my face solicits great input from other folks who have probably been overwhelmed with choosing a wine, and simply don't want to trust the label. Women are especially helpful in this regard!

I do have one great wine to recommend, that is also (horrors) "organic". Bonterra's Cabernet Savignon is EXCELLENT and a reasonable $15 at Trader Joe's. With a bit of cheese, and a friend it promises to be a wonderful after work interlude for one's palate!


I am a big wine fan, love trying new wines and learning about them, however I find this campaign way too gimmicky and rather cheesy. I shy away from such things as well. It definitely does not appeal to me, unless maybe if I were heading to a cheesy girl's movie night or something of the sort, perhaps I might pick some up to go with the theme.

That being said, I sampled this a few months ago at a women targeted event, and had a hard time swallowing...I thought it was awful. I wonder how other's at the event reacted. In fact I still have 2 mini-bottles (plastic) they gave out at the event that remain untouched...

There's always good ol Trader Joe's "3 Buck Chuck," which tastes much better than this stuff, in my opinion...


I also <3 Yellow Tail, which is actually quite good for the price. The Barefoot family of wines is also pretty tasty. Can't beat their $8 bottle of bubbly.

There was a similar reaction to the White Lie chardonnay campaign last spring which billed itself as a great-tasting, low calorie, low-alcohol wine for women on the go. A ton of fun, eh? The sad part is that they test-marketed this stuff. And apparently no one said "This is bad." Or maybe Beringer Blass didn't listen.

I have two reactions to wine marketing to women. The first is "Women buy 60% of wine and influence almost 85% of wine purchased. Why do you *need* to market wine to women?"

The second is "Women Are Not a Monolith." Any wine marketing aimed at "women" will die an utter, miserable death because "women wine drinkers" is too a broad a segment. What *kind* of woman wine drinker are you targeting? The plonk drinker or the wannabe connoisseur? The casual drinker or the chick on a CEO track who needs to know about wine for career networking reasons? The one who vacations in Myrtle Beach, Miami, or Madrid?

Mary Schmidt

And, to follow on the previous comment, there is the segment of us who drink "plonk" but are always looking for better "plonk." We're - um - discerning plonk drinkers. My way of saying that we're very lucky to have so many affordable good wines these days.

So, companies shouldn't feel compelled to try so hard to attract "women wine buyers." Give us a good product, tell us a story (as another comment noted) and we'll be there! (Full disclosure: I've got a closet full of little black dresses...I keep hoping the next one will make me look like Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany's but so, far no luck! ;-)


As a female wine drinker (and a hotel bar manager) I find the concept of marketing wine to women quite intersting. I also do not believe it is necessary, and Little Black Dress may be cutting out potential sales from the male populaton! Here is what i noticed when I recently attended a function for women.. The only wine being served was LBD. There were two men there who were handing glassess of wine to the patrons, and giving them the name of the wine. Unfortunately, they had no info about the wine, only that it was from CA. No idea when we could purchase it in Michigan, or where. Somebody realy dropped the ball that niht!


Curious About Wine Marketing in these days wine marketing does up an up with ad and online marketing and of course women are necessary to make ad. it wine ads or its any thing else


yes curious about wine marketing its very going up because in these days you get cheapest and good quality wine ads in websites. so you enjoy in less money.


yes curious about wine marketing its very going up because in these days you get cheapest and good quality wine ads in websites. so you enjoy in less money.

Mitch T

I think a marketing segment called 'women' just to large to contemplate and therefor just too large to market effectively to. (BTW I'm a male, but find thats not relevant.)
If LBD could articulate a smaller more precise segment then we could make more sense of how well their strategy, positioning, and messaging might work.


I am currently sitting here drinking a glass of the LBD merlot........and it's not so good.
I bought the wine in somewhat of a hurry, was a little intrigued by the label so I snagged it, and another bottle of a cab/ merlot blend. I'm not usualy a fan of blends, but it was WAY better than this LBD.
So what made me buy the LBD?
The label. It recalls the 50's glamor days, in all its trashy glory.
I'm definitely NOT in their target market (30 year old fat tomboy lesbian in a flannel, baggy jeans and clunky shoes) but I still grabbed the wine because it looked like a "fun" wine, with a touch of class, and I didn't want a nasty super cheap tasting $4.00 wine.
I'm also not looking to buy any wine that costs over $20, any time soon, so this fit the bill.
I want a refund.
I trust my mouth, and this is just bad wine, behind an expensive marketing campaign aimed at the readers of Cosmo magazine.


I did a recent wine tasting and poured LBD and found most of the participants loved the Merlot. In fact a male customer who appeared to be above average in intelligence purchased 12 bottles, six of the Merlot and six of the Pinot Grigio, based on the taste of the Merlot (for an upcoming baby shower). Having been in corporate sales in the past, I at first thought wow is this ingenious or are they limiting their market. I decided after the wine tasting it was ingenious and decided this wine with a red lipstick tied around the bottle would make great presents for my girlfriends.


Cock ups like Little Black Dress are conceived by the folks in the marketing department who suffer from compete detachment from their consumer.

These are the same sort of folks who came up with BeringerBlass's horrific women centric brand: "White Lies

All of these wines are absurd attempts by the middle aged marketing losers, to appeal to the people that they are told buy most wine: Women. What the marketing dorks forget is that women are PEOPLE and not all of them are STUPID. So they concoct these propositions, knowing that no one they know will ever buy it, but convincing themselves that there are lots of dumb WOMEN out there that will triangulate in their pea-brains that Little Black Dresses or White Lies means good wine, or more importantly, something to believe in. Of course, women being the stronger, smarter sex, just pass these wines by and go for something that somehow means something.

The cretins who concoct these 'brands' should go back to selling used cars, because its easier to take advantage of women in the used car lot than in the grocery aisle.

These wines are an insult to the consumer, women and the decent companies that produce them. If Fetzer hadn't screwed up their main brand, they wouldn't be out peddling this poo.


Give me a break. Little Black Dress is just a wine. Who cares how they market it? Why are people so offended because it is trying to target a certain part of the market? Does it even do that? Does it even matter? Are you really offended that there is a little black dress on a bottle of wine for goodness sake? I think we all take things a bit too seriously. I've never tasted this particular wine but came across this and have been intrigued by the string of comments; all over a bottle of wine! Wow! Lighten up people! It's just wine, it's just an image on a bottle, either buy it or don't. That's the power of the consumer. Plain and simple. As a woman, and one who is not able to fit in a size 6 dress but a size 16, I still don't care because I'm proud of who I am, how I look, and these silly things have never offended me, as a woman, a less than thin woman, or as a consumer period. When I see people get up in arms over things such as this on the news or even in smaller scale things such as this article and string of comments, it always makes me wonder. --
I think I will go find this bottle of wine now and try it out. I think I'll buy two while I'm at it..one for me and one for my best friend. Done.

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