BORDEAUX IS SHAKING THINGS UP
Tired of its reputation as old-fashioned and complicated, the Bordeaux industry is looking to kick things up a notch with a number of new programs aimed at younger drinkers. CIVB, the trade and marketing body for Bordeaux, is currently working on an iPhone App to be released this October. Users will be able to take a photo of any Bordeaux wine label – the app then identifies it and provides a factsheet relating to the wine from the grape variety and appellation, to drink dates and food pairings. The goal is to help consumers better understand Bordeaux and, of course, buy the region’s wines. The intent was for the 9OOO wine estates in Bordeaux to upload information on their 15,OOO to 2O,OOO wines during August and September in order to be ready for the October launch. The app closely follows the launch of new strategy “Bordeaux Tomorrow” which will see a reduction in low cost basic Bordeaux and introduce a simplified labeling system.
Additionally, Bordeaux’s sweet wine producers are heading to the US to host after-work parties in a bid to make the category “young and fun”. The Union des Grands Vins Liquoreux de Bordeaux will launch “Sweet Hours” in New York and San Francisco in November. It has already run a series of after-work parties aimed at 25- to 35-year-olds in Bordeaux, but the US dates mark the first Sweet Hour events outside the region.
According to Sweet Bordeaux’s Emma Baudry, the goal is to encourage young, successful people to drink their wines at trendy bars. The events feature DJs and dancing. Also occurring this fall will be the US launch of Sauternes in 1Ocl test-tube bottles aimed at the hip-hop club market. The producers have their work cut out for them. The average sweet wine drinker is over 6O-years-old, according to research, and sweet Bordeaux sales have been declining steadily over the past 1O years. Sweet wine exports represented just 1% of all Bordeaux shipments to the US in 2OO9, equivalent to just 16O,OOO bottles, while domestic sweet wine sales exceeded 3 million bottles. Sweet Bordeaux represents the 11 sweet wine appellations of the region including Sauternes, Barsac, Cadillac, and Loupiac.