While in Europe we are discussing on the health warning risks matter to insert in the wine etiquettes, also due to a unilateral choice by the Irish Government, in the USA a new study highlights how the American consumers would like labels richer in information.
By now, the wine etiquettes have become one of the main “problems” for wine producers – both regarding law obligations and communication’s aspects.

Indeed, there is no doubt that the etiquette is one of the most powerful communication instruments both in relation to its graphic image and for what is written on it, counter etiquette included.

The longest and most complicated meetings to which I have the pleasure to attend to in numerous wine companies are exactly the ones regarding the etiquette’s analysis and choice.
What once was a “simple” graphic choice has now become one of the most strategic marketing levers also to guarantee a more coherent product positioning.

Getting the wine etiquette wrong, also from a communication point of view (which, translated, means giving a non-adequate perception of its value) is one of the biggest mistakes and, alas, one of the most frequent ones on the marketing front. For these reasons, it become more and more important to understand the consumers’ requirements with respect to what is written on the etiquette.

In this direction there is an interesting analysis, directed inside Brizly, by BevAlc, the observatory on alcoholic beverages consumption, the greatest shop online for wine, beer and spirits in North America (acquire in 2021 by Uber for 1,1 billion dollars). From one of their studies regarding the alcoholic beverages consumption for 2023 it emerged that their clients would like wine etiquettes to be much more informative than the current ones.

First of all, consumers would like clearer and more explicative tasting notes (this data is true for 23% of the interviewees).
To some extent this is a surprising request because often us authorized personnel consider counterproductive even to highlight the wine’s sensory characteristics, which could not be perceived as normal by the consumers and have, then a negative communication effect.

21% of the interviewees declared that they would appreciate reading the calories count in the wine’s etiquette which, as we know, for a great part is tied to its alcohol level value.
The calories one is another “warm” topic because if on one hand it is well-known hoe many consumers are sensible to the diet theme, it is also true on the other hand that the diet information might transform into a fearsome deterrent to the consumption of a calorie intake product such as wine.
Here, an across-the-board topic gets in the game which is the one of about the transparency information to put in the etiquettes, which is highly requested by 12% of the interviewed sample.

The transparency regards not only calories but also the “wine ingredients” in a more general sense. Also, this last topic is very complex and it has been debated for many years now, considering that, beside the so-called “natural components” (starting from water which represents between 80% and 90% of the volume, but also acids such as tartaric, malic and lactic or sugars such as fructose and saccharose), there are almost 80 substances authorized for the wine production. If we wanted to have a completely transparent etiquette, we would need a sheet to envelop the wine bottle.

Finally, it is very interesting to consider that 16% of the interviewees would like greater clarity on etiquettes regarding the biological/natural/sustainable topic. This is an absolutely legit request which, in some measure, highlights one more time how a “stamp” which guarantees an official certification, is probably not considered sufficient by many wine consumers anymore.

However, it is equally true that being able to explain the motivations, the actions that guarantee a biological, sustainable or natural wine in an etiquette is something that saying is “arduous” is euphemism.

In this last direction, surely, inserting a QRcode able to explain with greater clarity the company’s “sustainable paths” (if not even accessing a sustainable financial report for those companies that activated it) might be the most accessible path.

This is what we can do while hoping that, sooner or later, there will be a blockchain that guarantees a serious wine traceability, in all its production chain segments, which will finally give concrete, credible, transparent answers to all the wine consumers around the world.