The Colors of Bordeaux Wines

by Eve Resnick on May 24, 2011

in General

Branding a region through the colors of its wines is a new marketing strategy I really enjoyed. Most of wine lovers know Bordeaux for its red wines.  Bordeaux also produces white, rosé, clairet (darker pink), bubbly (the Crémant) and sweet wines of various yellow shades. Unfortunately, those colors are not as known as the famous red. That’s why when, a few weeks ago, I got an invitation to (re)discover the various colors of the Bordeaux and Bordeaux “superieur” wines I was interested: what an original approach to the wines of a specific region that consumers think they know. In fact consumers know mostly the Classified Growths and ignore the diversity of the Bordeaux and Bordeaux superieur area.

The program included an evening and three half days based on the wine colors: a blind tasting to select the summer rosés, a trip to properties producing mostly red wines (the Ruby event), then a yellow theme on the beach of the Bassin d’Arcachon and the firework, a dinner created by Michel Porthos where the color of the each dish matched the color of the wine.

Wine is usually about color: think Cahors and its “black wine“, think Provence and its pale rosés, think Bordeaux and its dark red wines, think Alsace and its white wines.  But is also part of the stereotypes of the region : Cahors, Provence, Bordeaux and Alsace produce other styles of wines. Provence has some beautiful red wines while Alsace Pinot Noir is a gorgeous wine.

The marketing strategy of the Bordeaux and Bordeaux Superieur is a good example of a simple and efficient strategy: invite a few female bloggers, create a fun and instructive program and bingo! you get a good buzz on the Net. The young Italian blogger Magda Beverari, the French Nina Izzo, the Canadian MarieEve Inoue were fascinated by what they learnt and discovered.  They blogged and twitted about the trip. No need to spend a lot of money: just be creative and trust your guests.

This experience showed that Bordeaux is trying to brand its wines of lesser fame (and much cheaper price) than the famous Classified Growths. It is time for international wine consumers to understand that a Bordeaux wine at about $15 is a good wine: one does not need to pay an extravagant price to taste and enjoy a good Bordeaux wine. I just hope international consumers will appreciate wines from smaller estates and will not be put off by “low” prices.

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