Argentina is consolidating its position in the international market day by day. Malbec, its emblematic variety, with its good price-quality relationship, has brought popularity to other wines of the country, and this boom has been picked up by the Internet. For this reason, WineSur decided to talk to some world-renowned wine bloggers about their views on Argentinian wine.
Katie Pizzuto, wineblogger at Gonzo Gastronomy, pointed out that Argentina will continue to grow in popularity, especially if it takes the opportunity to apply non-traditional marketing approaches. She further explained that wine bloggers will contribute to increase consumer awareness about South America, especially about Chile and Argentina.
In addition to this, she suggested that Argentinian wineries should join their efforts and draw a marketing plan with wine bloggers, not individually, but jointly or as a collective body.
In agreement with this wine blogger, Joe Roberts of 1Wine Dude, said that the only way to make a mark on the net is by acting collectively, and that wineries may be mistaken in making individual efforts, as it is very difficult to reach importers and consumers in that way.
However, “I have personally taken part in on-line wine tastings for Argentinian wines and I was impressed that the PR firms organizing those were willing to take chances and get the winemakers in front of US consumers,” pointed out Roberts.
He added that consumers are presently in love with Malbec, not only because of its great quality but also because of its good value. That is why Roberts also suggested that Argentina, now more than ever, should make every effort to promote Malbec and to strengthen its position in the market.
Amy Corron Power, columnist for Another Wine Blog, highlighted that “Argentinian wines are growing in popularity as more US consumers learn about them. One reason is because many of them are less expensive, or perceived to be so by US consumers. Since the US economy is lagging many people are looking for less expensive alternatives and Argentina is becoming well-known for moderately priced, good wines.”
This wine blogger also added that “wine bloggers’ interest in Argentinian wines will also push the traditional media to focus on these wines. And as more and more bloggers write about the wines of Argentina, traditional writers will not want to be left behind, and will want to give their opinions of these wines as well.”
Furthermore, Gerald D. Boy, columnist for Wine Review Online, emphasized Argentina´s price-quality ratio. Nevertheless, he pointed out that “Americans are fickle consumers, always looking for something new and there is a very large part of the American market not yet familiar with Argentinian wines except, maybe, for Malbec.” Therefore, he suggested “doing a better job telling the consumer why Argentinian wines are different, especially from Chilean wines.”
Tim Lemke, the creator of Cheap Wine Ratings highlighted that “the only Argentinian wine most US consumers are familiar with is Malbec, which has become quite popular over the past five years or so.” Other than that, Lemke does not think Argentinian wines have a strong presence in the US.
In the case of Chilean wines, Lemke said that they “are rapidly growing in popularity. There are a number of factors that have helped grow the popularity of Chilean wine in the US, among them are winning top honors with prestigious awards for their wines and a consistently high quality-to-price ratio. I would also say that the Chilean PR groups have done a great job of connecting with wine bloggers.”
In the case of Ken Payton, the blogger of Reign of Terroir, he emphasized that “the wines of Argentina have a strong US presence. Its Syrah and Malbec are among the finest in the world. It is also true that their price points and marketing strategies are very effective in the states.”
“The downside is the potential for the homogenization of wine styles, of making wines for the increasingly fickle American palate. While the quality is beyond question, perhaps Argentina is overly concerned with uniformity over difference,” added Payton.
Moreover, Payton pointed out that “wine bloggers certainly have their role to play. Getting interesting wines into the hands of as many influencers as is economically responsible is no doubt important. However, it does become necessary, over time, to bring all wine styles to the table, so to speak.”
Finally, Alder Yarrow, the most well known US wine blogger, creator of Vinography, highlighted that “Argentinian wines have increasingly good visibility for consumers in the US. Low to mid-priced Malbec has started to become popular and well known as an alternative to the favorite Cabernet Sauvignon for many people.
Besides, “it is quite remarkable, and perhaps quite unique in the wine world, that Argentina has defined (for the US market in particular) what Malbec tastes like. Burgundy defines what Pinot Noir is, the Loire defines Sauvignon Blanc, Bordeaux, Cabernet. All old world origins. But even though Malbec has its origins in Bordeaux and Cahors, the international standard is now Argentina. This is a major accomplishment,” emphasized Yarrow.