While enjoying a half bottle of claret in the Mayfair Inn, Rye last Sunday lunch time (I went for the lamb roast thanks for asking) I over heard a conversation on the neighbouring table. A couple were looking at the wine list. “We like our red wines sweet”, they told the waiter. “I’ll leave you to read the wine list” came the reply.
A sweet red wine with a Sunday roast? Odd thought I. I’m guessing they were referring to something ripe and fruity, rather than perhaps a more austere, tannic wine. The woman read out a couple of wines she recognised – “Oh, I don’t think I’ll like that… Never heard of it… that doesn’t sound very sweet…” went the general line of conversation. I am also supposing that the young waiter wasn’t really that clued up on wine styles either, hence the disinclination to make suggestions or try to work out what the couple specifically enjoyed”.
It is tricky I guess for people who enjoy wine to try something unfamiliar. The whole region/country/grape variety thing can be confusing and splashing out £30 or £40 or more for a bottle in a restaurant for something they might not like would push anyone towards a pint of beer instead. It is easy to see why Pinot Grigio or big Australian brands do so well. They are easy to remember, easy to say and even easier to drink.
Getting people to try something new is therefore the key. For internet retailers a tad tricky to do so in a cost effective way. This is the issue that Martin Constable of Norton Wines is grabbling with by launching his Wine Taster Packs.
“I developed the Taster Packs because the vast majority of us either stick with what we know best or go on a friend’s recommendation”
“[tweet_quote hashtags=”#wine #winelover #tasterpack” ]I want to help consumers become more informed about wine[/tweet_quote], expand their knowledge and to be able to distinguish different tastes and aromas, and this is the perfect way to get started, all at an affordable price.”
Norton Wines Taster Packs
The pack in front of me – Norton Wines Taster Pack ‘Every Day Favourites’ contains 5 bottles, each 50ml, with two red wines, two white and a rosé. There is an Old Vines Viognier from Mont Rocher in the Herault, a Picpoul de Pinet from Domaine de Montredon while the rosé is from Rioja. Finishing the set are a Nero d’Avola from Sicily and a Old Vines Malbec from the d’Oc region of France. My taste preferred the Malbec and rather wished the rosé was a full bottle!
A PDF download for each pack is available supplying details of the ‘full’ bottle. The pack costs £10 and comes complete with a £10 off voucher for buying ‘full sized’ bottles.