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October 22, 2010
Time To Get On The Bus!
If you're anything like me, you never want to compromise your current position, yet continue to poise yourself for new opportunities with greater possibilities in store. We strongly believe WineMatch is that opportunity. Many wineries agree and have taken the no-cost plunge to take us for a spin.

We've been to many wine shows, and EVERY time I mention the 100-point system, I see the eyes roll into the back of their heads, like their spouse just asked them to take out the trash! The words that follow usually can't be in print if exercising good taste.

Before I started WineMatch, I used to buy a $20 bottle I loved and a $50 bottle not-so-much, and vice versa. So I figured I would turn to the experts, WA, WE, WS. In doing so, a few things I found just didn't add up. I took 50 of the exact same wines that all three had rated and put the information side-by-side. First off, everyone has different numbers. What's more disturbing are the large variances. In fact, so great, that one says it's good, the other says not-so-good. So what EXACTLY is the behavior the consumer is supposed to have when the same wine is rated 82, 88, and 93? My answer "don't buy because I don't know who to believe".

Anyways, what exactly is an 88? Maybe I'm a little old school, but to me, an 88 looks like this! (1957 Oldsmobile Super "88")

The other reality is people buy certain wines for different reasons. Some 20% we know buy because of the beauty of the labels. The others buy either what they know they will like, or rely on these 'ratings'. In perusing the aisles of my favorite warehouse store, I look at the ratings displayed. The years on the rating tags are not always the same as what is being sold, as if things don't vary from vintage to vintage. The ratings represented are those that are typically the highest of the three rating outfits. They may tell you WA 94, WS 92 and leave out WE. The next wine may say WE 93 and not have the other two. And it goes on and on. Unfortunately, this is both too much and not enough information to make an educated choice here for many consumers. It's no small wonder people gravitate towards the beauty of the label - it's the only quantifiable component, so they proudly display it unopened as long as possible to maximize the value. Maybe we should tell consumers who has the prettiest labels?

At WineMatch, we even coordinate with release dates, something that clearly is not an industry norm today, but should be and will be. I submit to you that the only reason wineries don't push for publishing on release dates, is that you don't know if it's going to be an 87 or a 93. Stay with me here.

Scenario 1: If you get an 87 a month after the release date, it's not a good thing. This makes the wine harder to move which hurts the winery. You then have to hope that the other two outfits give you higher ratings, but if they don't, it simply cuts more. Honestly, are they even going to rate your wines? This is not how I would want to live.

Scenario 2: You knock'em dead with 95 points, but only one outfit rates you and they do it 10 months after the release date, when you have little wine left. Whatever bang was there is all but gone. In this scenario, much like a baseball player of old, are you going to tell vintage-savvy visitors "look what we did last year"? That won't fly either.

Folks, wine is clearly a vintage-sensitive product. Leveraging vintage information in a timely manner will help move your wines, plain and simple. As we all know, wine needs to be sold to recover capital and real estate for the next round.

At WineMatch, our philosophy is simple: "Help the consumer find wines they like, help the winery, and help move product!". With consumers being able to access all of our data for free, we've removed that barrier as well. We have it all here, without foreign competition. Come see, register as a user, add some wines to your favorites, and take the bus for a ride!

Beep Beep,


WineMatch, 26238 Enterprise Court, Lake Forest, CA 92630

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