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Introducing... 'Wines for Dummies'

Promotional material for Wine for Dummies.

You’ve heard of the “For Dummies” books? There’s “PCs for Dummies,” “Excel for Dummies”...

Well, now there’s “Wine for Dummies.” But it’s not a book, it’s an actual wine. The bottle has that familiar yellow and black color scheme and a label tells you about the varieties. 

Turns out that while wine drinking’s up in the U.S., but winemakers still struggle with its snobby reputation, said Mark Tucker, a marketing director of Vision Wine and Spirits, the company selling Wine for Dummies.

“A lot of people are intimidated by wine and we wanted to make it accessible for everybody,” he said.

But within that category of "everybody," Tucker’s got his eye on one group: millennials. And millennials -- the generation born between 1980 and early 2000s -- are looking for fun.

That’s given rise to “concept” brands, one of the fastest growing segments of the wine market. Its wine that’s known for its cool -- and sometimes funny -- label.  But not for the esteemed winery it comes from. Yellowtail is a popular one, and there’s also Ménage à Trois.

In general, millennials aren't so interested in the vintage or age of the wine, said Nancy Light, whose with the Wine Institute, an association of California wineries.

“Some of the millennial consumers like to go to a party and bring something that’s going to make a statement or be a conversation piece,” Light said.

That runs counter to everything I was taught about wine. And that is, don’t judge a wine by its label. Turns out, I’m dating myself.

“I notice that the older people they appreciate the wine more than my generation,” said Primrose Lorenzo. She’s 31, works in the finance and drinks wine.  

I asked her if she’d buy Wine for Dummies. “I just might actually, as long as the label’s catchy, that’s what I look at, it’s just wine, alcohol,” she said.

Lorenzo says as long as it tastes good and gives you a buzz, what else do you want?

About the author

Queena Kim covers technology for Marketplace. She lives in the Bay Area.
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Finally, the marketing world has succeeded in raising a whole generation that is interested only in appearances versus quality. Robert Persig was not wrong in his concern about America's abandonment of quality when he wrote Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance in 1974.

Now, we have a generation that does not value quality in its personal relationships, the commodities they buy, and ultimately, their entire meaning of life.

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