Devil's Advocate: A Suggestion for Wine Marketing: Slowly. With a Hashtag.

Robert Joseph wonders whether a top business consultant has come up with a clever way to set wine apart from other beverages.

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Robert Joseph - with horns
Robert Joseph - with horns

“Is there any kind of campaign to promote wine generically versus other drinks?”

The question was asked by an expert from outside the wine sector during one of the thinktank sessions at the recent Areni Global event in Sonoma. 

Milk, eggs and meat have all famously had campaigns of one kind or another, including such memorable efforts as ‘Got milk?’, ‘Where’s the beef?’ and ‘Go to work on an egg’. But none of us sitting around the table could recall any similarly effective slogan, or indeed any slogan at all, ever devised for wine.

A few moments later, the same participant came up with one. In a world where everything seems to be moving faster, you should, they said, major on wine being ‘slow’.

Take it slow

The more we thought about it, the more sense the idea seemed to make, ranging from the 8,000 years of winemaking history, to the time it takes for a vine to mature and the length of the growing season, to the months and years a fine wine needs to mature in the cellar and attain its apogee in the bottle, to the way most of us consume it: slowly.

Thinking about the suggestion, I remembered that Gambero Rosso, publishers since 1987 of the annual Vini d’Italia guide and creators of the Tre Bicchieri wine ratings, two years later, also helped launch the Slow Food movement which, for a while, seemed set to gain traction outside its native Italy.

Today, in a wine industry that is fragmented globally and internally, perhaps it is hard to imagine any kind of concerted campaign. Who would fund it? And what are the chances of key stakeholders agreeing about what would and wouldn’t be an acceptable message?


But I have an alternative proposal that would need no funding or agreement.

What if we all simply began to use slow-focused hashtags? Obviously, there would be #SlowWine but we could also introduce tags like #SlowDrink or #DeliciouslySlow to social media wherever there are references to wine.

Will it work?

I’ve absolutely no idea, but maybe we could give it a try – and encourage others to do the same.

Ideally, we’d start using the hashtags right now, but without any unrealistic expectations of what we might achieve in the short term.

Let’s just take it slowly…



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