Why the Wine Trade Should Stock Up on USA Wine Ratings’ Wine of the Year

29/09/2018 Wine that wins this award combines the very best of Quality, Value and Packaging to offer an unbeatable value proposition to consumers.

The first-ever USA Wine Ratings competition wrapped up in San Francisco this year with a number of Gold Medal winners, but the real star of the show was the “Wine of the Year” for 2018 - a Reserve Merlot from St. Francis Winery & Vineyards in Sonoma, California. Not only did the wine obtain the highest overall score of 96 points in the competition, but it also scored highly across all three criteria - Quality, Value and Packaging - used to evaluate the wines in the competition. For the wine trade, the message should be clear: it’s time to stock up on the 2015 Reserve Merlot from St. Francis Winery.

USA Wine Ratings

Choose a wine with proven sales potential

First and most importantly, all wines selected as Gold Medal winners have passed through a very stringent judging process that takes into account the wine’s overall commercial viability. Is this a wine that consumers will feel comfortable ordering off the wine list of a restaurant or wine bar? Is this a wine that will attract the attention of consumers when they are browsing the aisle of their local wine shop? And is this a wine that has a particular demographic and audience in mind?

Being selected as the “Wine of the Year” means that a wine can answer all three of those questions affirmatively. And this is great news for the sales prospects of this wine. Why not stock up on this wine if you know that it has already demonstrated its sales potential? Why not make this wine a key part of your portfolio if you have the confidence of knowing that this wine has the potential to be a star performer?

Diversify your overall portfolio with a category leader

Diversification is an important goal of any player in the wine trade, and especially for distributors. Being able to offer a broad cross-section of wines, both geographically and by varietal, is the key to long-term success. And if you are planning on diversifying your portfolio, why not choose a category leader? When you select the “Wine of the Year,” you will have the peace of mind of knowing that you are choosing a clear category leader, in addition to a wine that is superior in all respects to the competition.

After all, taste and quality is just one variable that consumers and wine drinkers take into account when they decide to buy a bottle of wine at the store or order a glass of wine off a restaurant wine list. They are also looking for a bottle of wine that looks good on a retail shelf or in the back bar. Today, bottles of wine are brands in their own right. And, much as a consumer will choose to purchase a particular item at the supermarket based on brand perception, he or she will also choose to purchase a bottle of wine on brand perception. While factors such as terroir matter, so do factors like the overall presentation of the label or the way that the wine looks on the shelf. And that’s another big reason to stock up on the “Wine of the Year” - you are getting a wine that looks as good as it tastes. And you are also getting a wine that is attractively priced vis-à-vis its peers. In other words, you don’t have to worry about another competitor winning the consumer at the point of sale because a bottle of wine was priced too high.

Gain access to an entirely new customer demographic

And, speaking of overall brand presentation, the “Wine of the Year” has a built-in appeal to a unique customer demographic. In today’s wine marketplace, the ultimate success or failure of a wine is based on its ability to appeal to a certain demographic group or audience. And when it makes this connection, the result can be a spectacular increase in both online buzz and also overall sales. It means you’ve found a bottle of wine that people are going to buy, over and over again. And, best of all - once consumers have confidence and trust in a wine brand, they will want to experience more from that brand, and that also has the net result of boosting sales of related products in your portfolio.

Boost your bottom line

The best part about stocking up on the “Wine of the Year” is that you are not just boosting your top-line sales, you are also improving your margins and growing your bottom line. Adding the “Wine of the Year” can be a tremendous boost to your bottom line. That’s because you are adding a wine that essentially sells itself. Instead of eroding overall profitability by diverting resources to sales and marketing, you know that you have a bottle of wine that consumers are going to want to buy. And that’s good news for your bottom line.

The 2018 “Wine of the Year” is…

2015 vintage Reserve Merlot Wine of the Year

With all of the above in mind, consider why it makes so much sense to stock up on the USA Wine Ratings “Wine of the Year” - the 2015 Reserve Merlot from St. Francis Winery & Vineyards in Sonoma. For one, you’re guaranteed quality in every bottle. St. Francis Winery picked up a second Gold Medal in competition as well and was named “Winery of the Year” by the judges.

And this comes on the back of stellar results from St. Francis Winery and a long tradition of winemaking excellence. In fact, St. Francis Winery has been making Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay since the 1970’s! Currently, St. Francis produces a diverse range of wines that have won several awards and been scored highly by critics. These include top wines like the Lagomarsino Cabernet Sauvignon and the Anthem Meritage blend, as well as a range of other single-vineyard wines

Thus, if you are looking to ramp up sales with little or no risk, the time is now to start stocking up on the “Wine of the Year” from St. Francis Winery. Sell more wine, diversify your portfolio, and introduce your new customer base to other award-winning wines from this noteworthy producer, thereby boosting your bottom line. The business case for buying the “Wine of the Year” is clear.