Steve Heimoff is one of the best wine writers out there. I own a couple of his books. But today’s post looks like something written in 1984 or so, although the Wine Market Council presentation was two days ago.
(Before going on, because this could get ugly, I’ll remind you that the category is Beer & Wine, not Beer vs. Wine.)
Heimoff points with particular interest to data compiled by The Nielsen Company.
|I like well-known brands:||1||34|
|I like to explore new brands:||42||5|
I guess the numbers are percentages. Anyway, let’s get right to his analysis: “In other words, beer drinkers stick with their tried-and-true favorites (Bud Lite, Coors, whatever) and rarely venture outside their comfort zone. Wine drinkers by contrast are 8 times more likely to be adventurous and try something new.” [We won’t deduct points because he might have confused Bud Light and Miller Lite.]
Then why are the beers the Brewers Association defines as “craft” rockin’ ‘n’ rollin’ in supermarkets? SymphonyIRI data certainly indicates beer drinkers are exploring like crazy.
So perhaps his guesses at “why” would be rendered moot with different numbers in mind. But it is so seldom somebody puts together a list of six points and gets every one wrong that it deserves to be repeated.
1. wine is inherently more interesting than beer.
2. wine changes with each vintage and people know that whereas beer always tastes the same.
3. wine drinkers listen more to gatekeepers, such as critics, than do beer drinkers.
4. wine is so much better with food than beer.
5. there are so many more wine brands than beer brands to choose from.
6. most importantly, wine drinkers are more adventurous than beer drinkers because we’re risk takers, curious, liberal, open to improving ourselves and our lives, smarter (but don’t think we know everything), and more hopeful than beer drinkers, who, for all their charms, are (let’s face it) happiest with a kegger and an ample supply of beer nuts.
(Remember, deep breaths.)
Added Jan. 28 (the next day): He says he was kidding. Just wish he hadn’t written “brewski” in doing so.