Why are Spanish wines underrated in the US market Essay
Wine as a beverage and drink is produced by many countries around the world. Italy, France and Spain are just but to name a few who serve as some of the main producers of the said product. As it may be known, these wines may vary with countries since the contents involved in its production shall also vary from one country to the next. The paper shall seek to discuss and elaborate the reasons and points of concern to a prospective wine customer before engaging in the purchase and eventual consumption of the wines originating from different countries.
Our major point of concern is to try and explain the reason why a customer would prefer setting out on one evening or hot Sunday afternoon with the aim of purchasing Italian or French wines, when actually in the same market, there’s displayed a myriad of other wines from other countries, Spanish wines for instance. In order to successfully probe into this phenomenon, we shall look into the reasons that make Italian and French wines tick. The factors that make them a customer’s favorite shall be our concern at this point in time.
Similarly, we shall also examine to what extent the Spanish wines are marketed as well as their consumer awareness. The paper shall investigate as to whether the Spanish wines are in any form ‘known’ among the wine consumers around the globe. Alongside all these explanations the paper shall also be drawing comparisons with the Italian wines and or with the French wines. At the end, the paper shall explain the reason(s) why the Spanish wines are underrated in the eventual conclusive part of it. Why are Italian / French wines selling better than the Spanish wines.
Italy as a country is renowned for numerous grape tree varietals that are grown all over the country by farmers at different levels. It’s argued that the country’s domesticated vine trees are the key to the true flavor that is a characteristic of the wines from the country that have been the world’s favorite for ages. It’s from these trees that varieties of wines are manufactured, a factor that may make a prospective customer to really have a hard time when it comes to making a selection of the desired package of wine.
It’s also believed that, the names given to the various Italian wines are all related to the vine trees that know ancient Italian romantic names. This passes the point to us that the Italian wines are prepared with the occasions in mind; in that, most of their wines are prepared for a romantic setting and given romantic names to spice up the mood for which it’s meant for. For instance, the likes of sensuous Brunello di Montalcino and its sister, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano serve as a good example of quality wines manufactured with ‘occasion’ in mind (Sophia Schweitzer, 1997).
Two thirds and indeed almost all the Italian wines are made in one color, i. e. red, a color that attracts many romance makers – most of who are young adults. It’s the country’s decision to make the wines in this color for them to attract a given age bracket of people, and who happen to be the highest consumers of the drink. This tends to give the Italian wines an upper hand to the Spanish wines, and hence underrating of the Spanish wines. In addition, the foods served alongside with these wines have never changed for years; they have observed consistency for all these years, at least for the past millennia.
The Italian artists behind all these are still quite passionate and targeting individual customers across the years with the aim of satisfying them. This has been going on for a history of the last three thousand years. A country with such a long time dedication to business and meeting customers’ needs can rarely be doubted as to providing services less of quality to the customers. It’s also from this history that the wine consumers have developed complete product loyalty in the Italian wines.
Italy, being the top world producer of wines excels in its field because of the strategies it has laid down right from the home country and which extends to the target market(Mary Keefe, 2009). At the home country, the Italian government has established regulations to establish the levels of wine making and the profits anticipated in the final end. These have been dedicated to two bodies, “Denominazione di Origine Controllata” (DOC) and the “Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita” (DOCG). Then, why are the Italian wines famous in the USA?
It’s said that it’s not just the wines in the bottles that the Americans enjoy, but also the nice culture of the Italian people that surround the Americans. Their dining experience has been of late coupled with the culinary fabric of the dining experiences of the American people which the wines have enjoyed. The comfort food that is associated with the whole cuisine and the high value that is attached to the Italian foods crowns it all, and adds a great deal to the growth and popularity of the wines even through tough economical times (Mary Keefe, 2009).
These wines have been dominant in the US market as a result of many trends that are followed to the latter, not forgetting the Americans’ liking and affinity for the Italian food and the inbuilt value that these wines have. Awareness of the Italian wines has drastically been on the up soar for all these years. For instance, people are becoming increasingly aware of the Nebbiolo a kind of grape that makes Barbaresco and other dominant wines.
More varietals are also becoming acquainted with Americans. Indigenous grapes from Italy are almost the talk of the day among many consumers in different restaurants and other social places in the New York. To sum up,the unprecedented amount of history and presence of grape varietals, coupled with the people’s passion for their land use and a fantastic tourism infrastructure among the Italian people places them ahead of other chief competitors like Australia, France and Spain.
The Italian products have become world class products and are no longer ethnic products; that are exemplified also in the mode of packaging, distribution and the unique post-sale service to the rampant wholesale trade businesses in the United States (Mary Keefe, 2009). Marketing and creation of awareness of Spanish wines in the U. S market Spanish wines in the American market are less pronounced for a number of reasons as spelt across by many wine market researchers. Cava and champagne for instance are some of the key wines produced by the Spanish people.
The former is a lot less sweet as compared to the Champagne which is far much sweeter. Although the two wines come from the same country, champagne is much more renown in the United States market for one sole reason and that is price. Wines, once they hit the US market and become stocked in the US bars and other social places like restaurants, will sell because of price. To some smaller Spanish wine producers, in order for a wine to penetrate the market; it has to be commanding much in terms of the American bucks, especially as applies to the imported commodities (Sophia Schweitzer, 1997).
The Americans are ever willing to part with anything from a range of $25 and $200 for a bottle so long as they go back home having carried with them ‘the real value for their money’; but with Cava for an option, it’s observed that most consumers may not even bother. The Americans at this point, and as far as wine purchase is concerned, are always willing spenders more on the commodity, in terms of large amounts of money as long as the value of the wine is kept high.
The American population that takes wine is looking for something good (and which is associated with quality anyway), and not something cheap. It’s funny noting that in this market, even when the wine sales start deteriorating, their respective prices will always be going up. With the price issue aside, there are other factors that drastically obscure the market awareness for the Spanish wines. Competition from existing wine producers and who already have huge brands from France and Australia threaten the existence of Spanish wines in the American market.
Talking of the awareness of the Spanish wines among the US citizens, research has it that, the wines from Spain are not quite regarded as cheap but have a moderate reputation for quality and value (Marketuno, 2008). This serves as a good differentiator since once the wines are deciphered or branded as being ‘cheap’, then it shall be quite difficult to change that image. For instance, wines from Chile once suffered this shock. Australia as a country managed to go over it, as they made use of a multi-segment formula at the transition through making sales of wine at given segments of prices.
If we talk of a country that boasts of the world’s no. 1 producer of wines, Spain has increasingly hit below the belt at the international ring. Even with the flurry of positive change, the world’s third biggest producer of wine is still about to suffer from the current challenging times. This has been affected by the world’s fall in the intake of the product, exports stagnating and increasing costs of production. Spain’s world consumption of wine is dropping as fast as its production is increasing (Marketuno, 2008).
Compared to Italian or French wineries, Spain is reported to have much smaller winery sites. There’s also a notable lack of the producers who can compete on international and global levels at worldwide markets and mid-level prices, which can boost the country’s performance in the wine industry. To boost the customer awareness of the Spanish wine products, there has been a new launch into the marketing aspect of the produced wines. This plan to boost the marketing activity with time shall serve to enhance more attention and eventual appreciations of the Spanish wines at the international arena.
To add on, the existence of individual success stories among the individual producers of wines is expected to add onto the overall situation of the market as far as the global awareness of the Spanish wines are concerned. Sources have it that the key towards the success of any wine producing country is engraved in the ability of the country to market the product that it produces. This is the weapon that is being used by the new world in order to tackle the old world, and which have been active participants in the production and manufacture of wines for a long time.
The like of France, Spain and Australia still sell wine in a similar manner that they always have. The difference comes in the way and manner in which the new world handles the packaging feature of the wines they produce. The new world gives it a simple, consumer friendly and legible approach of packaging its wines. In fact, the packaging from countries like India, Argentina and China have really simplified the packaging in that one doesn’t have to be an expert in order to know how to read the label on the bottles.
To add on, the contents of the bottle are clearly highly on the bottles in a not so difficult graffiti and language. This has made it easy for the consumers to be completely sure of what they are taking home for consumption. This has missed in the customer care recipe that is used by the founders of wine making in Europe and even Australia. The new world, however does not respond to the legal restrictions placed to the labeling systems as it is in France and Spain. Lack of marketing or taking quite a little of it is another sure process that has shunned the Spanish wines off the global market.
The new world is gaining shares through the use of big wine companies like ‘Constellation’ and ‘the Fosters’. Big names such as Australia, Italy, France and Spain are supposed to heavily invest in the marketing of their products if they have to stay afloat of other incoming companies producing the same products. The key to excelling is being aware of what’s happening in the market and trying to better on what your competitor is currently doing if not adopting the same strategy to selling your product (Ross, J. G. , 1999).
These big names, Spain inclusive, are able to invest in the marketing sector and they provide the distribution sector with a constant supply of wine which sustains a considerably constant taste and quality. Customer awareness regarding the Spanish wines has of late increased in the United States. The trade commission of Spain has increasingly played a significant role to increase the awareness of the Wines from Spain in the United States. More and more press articles have featured the Wines from Spain in the United States reaching many Americans.
Media and trade events have been organized in the New York city, and which were attended by representatives from Wines Spectator, Forbes and Forbes Life, Beverage world, just but to mention a few of the wines companies in the US. All these efforts have been driven towards creating awareness among the Americans as regarding the consumption of the wines from Spain. In Miami, the Spanish wines carried the day at the 2009 Food Network South Beach Wine and Food Festival where King Juan Carlos I and Queen Sofia of Spain cut the ribbon, marking the official opening of the Wine Spectator Trade Testing Day at the festival (Marketuno, 2008).
The ceremony was graced by cutting of the ribbon attended by the media from the US and Spain. To what extend are the Spanish wines similar with the French wines? There’s a considerable similarity between Spanish and French wines. From past times, the history of Rioja has been interlaced with the French processes of making wines, as early as eighteenth century. The prominent lifetime wine producer Quintano practiced the Bordelais method of making wines through aging in the oak casks. Here, the only difference that emerged from the French method of wine making was observed in the large size of cask employed.
After the commercial wine production sites of the Duca de Vitoria were destroyed in 1850s, the Bordelais wine manufactures took their operations to Spain, settling at Rioja region which introduced the export of wine into the Spanish land. From the original Bordelais, came the new form of Bordelais barriques where the wine aging process had to be taken place. This practice has continued into the 20th century and still continues to date through the use of the local varieties of grape, with Tempranillo being the major one (Wines from Spain, 2008).
The traditional method of long aging of the wine is common with the Rioja which owes its production styles from the Bordeaux, but with Rioja being taken through a caskaging process of a maximum of ten years in Spain rather than the usual maximum of four years in the French wineries. It’s recorded that some wines could take twice as long to undergo the same process. Marketwise, it’s confirmed that Rioja has the potential to compete successfully with the French wine.
This was brought about by the success of the French Beaujolais which clearly prompted the potential and capability of Rioja and the realization of the belief that cosechero wines could draw a pretty clear competitive edge with the French wines. The young reds wines from Spain display a much higher density of strong, icy aromas from black fruit consisting of a more deeper aroma, mostly, than the other perfumed, exotic wine red fruit of the Beaujolais from the French vines. French wines have a perfuming character rather than the character to at as a drink once placed on a palette (Colman Andrews, 2009).
This could be a much dubious character for any of the wines that seek to replace the youthful lightness characterized in the French wines. The revival of the Rioja, however has seen all the young wines from Spain to acquire an intense aroma and the feature of lightness just as the French wines from which they took after (the ‘Beaujolais’ style). All these features as explained above give rise to a resultant ‘Rioja’ which is characterized of two discrete styles, two histories which are distinct and not forgetting the two traditions which are also quite dissimilar (Colman Andrews, 2009).
Conclusively, it worth noting that both the Spanish Rioja and the French Beaujolais owe their impetus to the wineries of France. The only difference comes in the aging process that seems prolonged for the former and shortened for the latter. The one that is aged for years in the oak casks, from where it acquires its tasty and distinctive vanilla aromas and which tastes earthy and fully round. The second group that tastes younger and modern and altogether with flavors fresher and fruity. Taking a closer look at Cava from the Spanish people, it’s realized that it’s a wine that is made in a more or less the same way as the French Champagne.
It’s viewed as a unique alternative to the French champagne and to many; it’s regarded as an option of much of the money’s value as compared to the French champagne. Just like the French champagne, Spanish Cava come in different shades of sweetness. It’s second only to champagne when the world’s sparkling wines are talked about and has also been regarded as ‘Spanish champagne’. Price-wise, the Spanish wines command a much less of pricing than the French wines. It’s surprising to many fine wine makers of Spain who have provided some great wines at moderate prices.
Other wines manufacturers have, across years, earned some reputation to charge a lot through the benefit of skill possessed and the many years recorded in consistency and acclaim (Colman Andrews, 2009). Conclusion The consumption of the Wines from Spain in the United States is seen to go up just like the other major similar market competing giants like France, Italy and Australia only if the country observes some key features as observed in the above highlights. First, the Spanish government ought to lessen the legal implications placed on the packaging of the wines from the country and which are exported to markets like the United States.
It should not be quite assumed that the initial packaging of the wines for a long time will still keep the country well posted on the international or global market scenario. At this point in time, it should be realized that the members of the new world are working tirelessly to beat the so called wine veterans who have been in existence in the market for all those years. In order to beat them, the new world member countries have decided to invest heavily in the marketing of their products, (for them to reduce the rate of underrating). China, Argentina and India are seen to be quite excelling at this.
As a result, it calls for the veteran chiefs like Spain and Italy to also really guard the existence of their products in the wine market. By so doing, it shall ensure that the ‘new recruits’ in the US market do not beat the ‘veterans’ at their own game. The key towards this shall only be through heavy Spanish investment in the aspect of marketing of its products abroad- in the two key markets, Europe and the United States. Unless this is achieved, the increased production of Spanish wines shall imply the same increased rate of loss of their foreign market, especially the two major wine markets.