Books, covers wine labels Dan’s gibberish

Judges and books

“Many people ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’.” It’s a (part) well-known saying and in this case was used by Liz Lee in an article on ABC Rural by Isabella Pittaway. Ms Lee works for market research firm Wine Intelligence (WI) and was commenting on consumers’ buying habits, the crux being that WI’s latest report says consumers are more influenced by flavour descriptions on labels than staff recommendations and medals won.


TKR fully understands what Lee is saying, but it did make us think. A book may not be bought because of its cover, but it’s often the cover that attracts a reader to the book in the first instance. The same applies to a label; first it attracts the eye, then if the information impresses the consumer they might buy it.

There are so many influences on what unites buyers with wine that it’s hard to separate them from each other. Ms Lee’s point is that people do buy wine because of what is on the label. WI reveals what is fairly basic information, such as wine drinkers are influenced by the words:

• Smooth
• Easy-drinking
• Fruity
• Full-bodied
• Rich

Fully understandable, but think what producers put on labels. They are hardly to put:

• Sharp
• Challenging
• Sour
• Skinny
• Poor
According to WI, men go for the full-bodied and rich descriptors, while women are more attracted to descriptors indicating a soft red style.


Lee, a millennial herself, says it’s that generation that is the most adventurous. “We like a balance of reassurance and also a little bit of adventure,” she says.

The lesson from WI: think carefully about what is on the label and who it might appeal to.

Desperate Dan


One would hardly think Dan Murphy’s is in need of desperate media releases, but one turned up this week. It was put, scraped or thrown, together by PR company Liquid Ideas and TKR remains baffled about who was the target. We take a punt at newspapers such as The Daily Telegraph, Herald Sun, Courier Mail, Advertiser or any other organ that requires limited brain function and whose readers’ lips move as their fingers travel across the page.


Anyhow, let’s not get hung up on the quality of 21st century media, but look at the release and its opening dot points:

• Shiraz remains Australia’s favourite varietal
• Australian sparkling is outselling French Champagne more than five to one
• 84 per cent of all wine purchased at South Australian Dan Murphy’s stores is Australian wine
• At Dan Murphy’s the range of Tasmanian wine increased by 44 per cent in the past 12 months

Shiraz is the most planted variety so it makes sense that it is the most drunk. As does the news that “53 shiraz products have been added” to the range. Cynical, we know, but have any been delisted? We are sure Australian sparkling wine sales are a lot greater than Champagne, but Dan’s stocks about three times more sparkling wine then Champagne. Also, the prices of Champagne are much higher – a lot over $50 – whereas sparkling is mostly below $30, with a heap being under $20. So the point is?

What is the overall percentage of Australian wine over imported wine sold in all Dan Murphy’s? Why is South Australia being singled out? The point is?

Good to see stocks of Tasmanian wine increase, but 44 per cent increase on bugger all says not a lot. Without the base figure what is the point?

After the drivel we think the real point of the media release is:

“This May, Dan Murphy’s is encouraging all Australians to pop the international drop back in the cellar and drink local in support of Aussie Wine Month.”

Other than that, the release meanders along, saying not a lot. It’s only April but it has to rank as one of the worst compiled releases of 2017.

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