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"Top 30 Table Wine Brand Performers"


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In my eternal quest to find easy, no-muss solutions to my ever-present anxiety when shopping for wine, I ran across a recently released list of the "Top 30 Table Wine Brand Performers." (copied below). Now, I'm just a caveman when it comes to wine, but I detect a lot of marketing-speak in this release, and it does not appear that the world's foremost oenophiles convened to generate this list of the "most influential" brands. However, is there anything to be gleaned from it? Does anyone who is not just a wine caveman believe that there is any correlation between placement on this list and the general quality of a brand's wine?

IRI, the world’s leading global provider of consumer, shopper, and retail business solutions and services, released its third annual “2006 Table Wine Top 30 Brand Performers,” a revealing study that pinpoints the top 30 most influential table wine brands. These individual brands have experienced significant growth in U.S. supermarkets and drugstores across multiple variables during the 52 week period ending Dec. 31, 2006. IRI also unveiled its “2006 Table Wine Top 10 New Brands,” a list of emerging new brand entries.

Leveraging its extensive beer, wine, and spirits vertical expertise, IRI analyzed volume growth, share of segment trends, merchandising effectiveness, everyday base pricing stability, profitability, distribution gains, incremental sales, and sales velocity growth to develop this distinguished list of leading brands. ...

The IRI 2006 Table Wine Top 30 Brand Performers

Rank Table Wine Brand

1 Barefoot

2 Francis Coppola

3 Sterling Vintner’s Collection

4 Chateau Ste. Michelle

5 Crane Lake

6 Bogle Vineyards

7 Smoking Loon

8 J Lohr

9 Mirassou

10 La Crema

11 The Little Penguin

12 Rex Goliath

13 Kendall Jackson Vintner’s Reserve

14 Fish Eye

15 Pepperwood Grove

16 Blackstone

17 Lindemans

18 Five Oaks

19 Sutter Home

20 Clos du Bois

21 Rancho Zabaco Dancing Bull

22 Rodney Strong

23 Yellow Tail

24 Black Box Wines

25 Columbia Crest

26 Estancia

27 Chateau St. Jean

28 Cavit

29 Jacob’s Creek

30 Foxhorn

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Now, I'm just a caveman when it comes to wine, but I detect a lot of marketing-speak in this release, and it does not appear that the world's foremost oenophiles convened to generate this list of the "most influential" brands. However, is there anything to be gleaned from it?

Take it from me, a wine hunter-gatherer (flint tools level). The principal lesson to be gleaned is thus:

"When dining with a bunch of brand management consultants, don't let the guy from IRI order wine."

p.s. Personal experience suggests you should defer to the engineer at the table, if there is one.

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hey, they aren't ALL awful...It sounds like it might be an investment list, as in return on investment if someone buys stock or something? Anywho...They are all rather high production wines, including some $3-5 per bottle wines...might be a wine score-retail cost ratio list?

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hey, they aren't ALL awful...It sounds like it might be an investment list, as in return on investment if someone buys stock or something? Anywho...They are all rather high production wines, including some $3-5 per bottle wines...might be a wine score-retail cost ratio list?
um... yes they are. There is so much more available in the market right now to even consider one of these thirty.
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These individual brands have experienced significant growth in U.S. supermarkets and drugstores
The vast majority of brands, 83 percent, are premium priced at $5.50 and above

I've never had most of these, as I try to never spend more than $5.50 on my wine purchases at CVS.

That said, I do like the Chateau Ste. Michelle-Dr. Loosen Eroica Riesling. :blink:

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The linked article says that 83% of the brands are "premium-priced" -- which is defined as more than $5.50 per bottle. Wow. I'm a cheapskate who rarely spends more than $15 for a bottle of wine. But that is one mighty low threshold for "premium."

That said, I must say I find it hard to believe that every maker makes uniform garbage. I've even had some wines from some of those makers that I liked. (I won't enumerate them, for fear of further proving my cavemanliness.) Yes, they are grocery-store wines. Guess what? That's where I buy most of my wine. For many reasons, one of whom is eight months old, I rarely find the time to make separate trips to the wine shop. Instead, I pick up a bottle or two at whatever grocery store I'm at. So sue me.

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Instead, I pick up a bottle or two at whatever grocery store I'm at. So sue me.
Goats do Roam white or rose. Make sure it's current vintage (2005 or, preferably, 2006). Not a wine I represent. But I'm not kidding.

But Avondale and Vriesenhof are available at Wegmans :blink: .

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p.s. Personal experience suggests you should defer to the engineer at the table, if there is one.
Back when I used to have to dine with engineers as part of my job they were forever wanting to order Jordan and Sonoma Cutrer and raving at how wonderful both were. Needless to say I don't share your trust in engineers choosing wine.
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Back when I used to have to dine with engineers as part of my job they were forever wanting to order Jordan and Sonoma Cutrer and raving at how wonderful both were. Needless to say I don't share your trust in engineers choosing wine.

I jest, of course. The trick is in having the good fortune to know some engineers with good taste.

Viz drugstores, there are a surprising number of places around the country where the local drugstore IS the local beverage alcohol store, probably a holdover from Prohibition. In Kentucky for instance, Rite-Aid does a pretty hopping business.

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I jest, of course. The trick is in having the good fortune to know some engineers with good taste.

Viz drugstores, there are a surprising number of places around the country where the local drugstore IS the local beverage alcohol store, probably a holdover from Prohibition. In Kentucky for instance, Rite-Aid does a pretty hopping business.

Quite common in Colorado, too. When we lived in Denver, our go-to spot was the Joy Pharmacy (drugs and alcohol -- "joy" indeed); they used to have a very reasonable selection. Interestingly enough, when we ducked in briefly on a recent trip through the old 'hood, looking for aspirin or a band-aid or something, we discovered that the "pharmacy" had gone all-booze, all the time. If you wanted pharmacy stuff, you had to go to the grocery store. Which, in turn, also had beer (but only 3.2).

One thing about the original list that struck me is how much easier it is to get non-revolting red wine at a lower price than non-revolting white wine. Theories, anyone?

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I think the first person I heard of buying booze in a drugstore was in Indiana, and it made sense to me, given that alcohol is drug, I'm guessing it's more likely that the reason is that the drug store is a convenience store.

I've bought some of the wines/vinters/brands on the list and found them ok--Chateau Ste. Michelle is the only one I can recall well enough to say that I found it satisfactory. I've bought some of their white wine(s). I have determined over time that I don't like any Kendall Jackson. I'm not so fond of Columbia Crest either. I've found some Bogle that I thought was okay for cooking. The Cavit pinot grigio I keep on hand for cooking.

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A couple of years ago we wewre camping in Oregon and were reuced to drinking the Litte Penguin wine available from the general storw a few miles down the road. It was so bad we began calling it "Penguin Piss."

On the other hand, I've always found Lindeman's drinkable in a pinch.

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If you can get your hands on any of the Kendall Jackson Highland Estates or JSJ wines you might change your mind.
I will keep that in mind. Thank you. I first tried Kendall Jackson on the advice of someone I thought knew wine pretty well, and I didn't care much for anything I tried. It took a while before I determined that my opinion was that I just didn't like it, since I figured this person knew what he was talking about.
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If you can get your hands on any of the Kendall Jackson Highland Estates or JSJ wines you might change your mind.

I think that all to often Jess Jackson's acquisition of a winery takes a personal vision and degrades it. Matanzas, La Jota are but a shadow of their former selves. So that there may be a wine or two in his portfolio of substance is not a good enough reason to support his mediocrity driven swill machine in any form. Jess Jackson buys a winery, I will not buy from that winery again. Period.

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