There was a time when men shopped for wine and booze. Today, according to industry statistics, women purchase more alcohol than
men do, though men still spend significantly more on a bottle. "Men tend to purchase higher-price wines, spend more time researching the purchase, and are more technical in that respect," says Rob
Glover, Canadian marketing director for Wolf Blass Wines, which is owned by Foster’s Wine Estates (the company’s premium brands include Lindemans, Penfolds, Rosemount, Beringer Vineyards, Chateau St. Jean and Stags’ Leap).
"The luxury end is male dominated, so we provide more technical information, like alcohol content and growing regions," he says, adding, "As the prices of wines decrease, there’s less of a need for
that kind of information, so then we can focus on packaging. When it comes to the package, women tend to know what they like."
Nevertheless, Rob says it’s important for companies to do a lot of sampling, which women really enjoy. “If they like something, they communicate it among themselves, which creates a buzz that can be a promotional factor,” he says.
Wines marketed to women today are invariably sealed with a screw cap. Although it had been around for years, the “old” screw cap – a shabby, thin, aluminum number – was relegated to bottles of the cheapest plonk. “Good” wines were expected to have corks. The problem was, you needed a tool and a strong arm to yank the damn thing out. And good luck trying to get it back in again. Bottles
sealed with a screw cap are simpler to open, require no tools and are resealed with little effort.
Wolf Blass wines switched from corks to screw caps last year. Like many large companies, Foster’s Wine Estates also spends time, effort and money making sure the labels on their products are attractive. They recently updated Wolf Blass wines with more vibrantly coloured labels.