Monday morning all the talking heads were declaring their picks for the best Super Bowl commercial. I love those discussions. It’s a free-for-all. Everyone’s got an opinion. Some people liked seeing grown men without pants on. (I was not among them.) Others appreciated the intelligence of the Google ad. Some of us just love Betty White and had to laugh at seeing her tackled into the mud. Remind me…what was the product?
I don’t know if Super Bowl commercials drive sales. But I do know that effective marketing will have us buying stuff we thought was just “wrong.” Like stemless wine glasses.
On Saturday Beverly and I were hosting our “Wine Not?” wine tasting class at the Nashville Bartending School. We were demonstrating the restaurant wine tasting ritual of swirl, smell, sip…when Aurora, one of our students, asked how one should do the ritual with stemless glasses. Stemless wine glasses, give me a break! Perhaps prompted by my reaction, Aurora quickly pointed out that her glassware had been a gift.
Don’t misunderstand…I’ve sipped wine (and enjoyed it) from all sorts of “wrong” containers: coffee mugs, plastic cups, paper cones, water bottles, bota bags. If you’ve got an opened bottle of wine, it needs to be enjoyed – in whatever receptacle is handy. And at how many Italian restaurants have I savored a glass of Chianti plunked down in a tumbler? But let’s not call this tumbler a wine glass.
The stem of a wine glass has held a fascination for wine geeks, wine professionals and wine snobs since…the very beginning, I guess. If you’ve been to a wine tasting with any of them, you can see that the more they want to impress, the lower on the stem they hold the glass. Ask them why they use the stem, and they’ll tell you that to do otherwise – putting your hand around the bowl – will warm the wine and change its taste.
Let’s just say we buy that explanation. Many of these same people are now embracing the new stemless glasses. Let’s see, how do you hold them? With your hands around the bowl? So, what makes them wine glasses?
Riedel introduced these glasses a few years back. And it was brilliant marketing. They had established themselves as makers of the finest crystal wine glasses with different shapes and sizes for different varietals. (Beverly went to a Riedel tasting and subscribes to their “wine tastes better in our glasses” message. I don’t.) How many different shapes and sizes could they come up with? It was time for a new product introduction – so what kind of innovation could they possibly make? Of course, remove the stem.
I like Riedel. I own Riedel. I hold it by its stem. (I think it’s a lovely tradition.) Just don’t tell me that a bowl all by itself is a wine glass. It’s not.
By Saucy Sis1