Beer, Wine, and Liquor

Published on August 17th, 2011 | by Jennifer Kaplan


Artisanal vs. Corporate Wine or Why the hell should I buy artisanal?

As much as I’d like to take credit for this, my talented team at VineCrowd put together this rant about artisanal wine. JK

As we’re pretty sure you know by now, we at VineCrowd are a little obsessed with artisanal wine. Our hope with VineCrowd is to turn other winos (like yourself, perhaps) on to some of our favorites small producers – and then poof! just like that we’re all supporting independent wineries!

But why, you say? Why purchase artisanal wine when there is a 99 cent wine sale at MongoBev? We’re glad you asked. When you get down to it, there are actually great reasons to buy artisanal – in addition to the warm fuzzy feeling it gives you.

In short, it’s all about the Benjamins. Or Lincolns. You know what we mean.

Let’s say you wanted to drop 50 bones on a bottle. If you were to purchase a large corporate brand wine, here are some of the things that your money might be paying for:

  • Expensive ads in wine magazines
  • Lawyers to approve expensive ads in wine magazines
  • Corporate “team building” retreats
  • Profit margin for other less expensive brands that use the same equipment and staff
  • Consultants to prove massive new winery buildings will not threaten the wetland habitat of the yellowfin goby
  • 18 carat executive tie pins (ok, maybe not, but you get the idea)

In contrast, when you buy a bottle of artisanal wine for the same price, your money might be going to things like:

  • Family owned and operated vineyards
  • Premium barrels for aging
  • Multiple hand harvests (for peak ripeness)
  • Alfalfa for weed-eating goats
  • College fund for winery owner’s kids to one day take over the business

As you can see, in this scenario your $50 for an artisanal bottle goes straight into the quality of the wine. This means that whatever the cost of the bottle, the value of the wine inside is higher when you go indie.

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About the Author

is a former marketing consultant who decided, at the age of fifty, to turn her hand to creative non-fiction. Jennifer continues to write about sustainable food and wine, the intersection of food and marketing and food politics for and is the author of Greening Your Small Business (November 2009, Penguin Group (USA)). She was named one of The 16 Women You Must Follow on Twitter for Green Business. She has four kids, a dog, a hamster and an MBA - follow her on and .

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