We came across the following conversation about tasting room experiences on Facebook yesterday, in a private group called “Wine DTC Geeks”.  We found it fascinating, and in line with many of our own concerns, and experiences.

While the survey of people is obviously not statistically significant, (5 groups of 2-4 people), the dislikes listed are universal (being sold to, feeling the person in front of you is full of BS), which is why we have been concerned about this uptick in winery tasting room “secret shoppers”, and the practice of incentivizing wine club sign ups, email collection, etc.  

This isn’t to say we are against any of these things – we get it, wineries need to sell wine.  We also love a secret shopper (although we prefer one that seeks “authenticity” rather than one than reports back how many times the wine club was mentioned), but, as mentioned in one of the comments prompted by this post,  we wonder if these aggressive sales tactics are turning the wine industry into  “another commodity provider of retailing”.  We also wonder how these aggressive sales tactics are affecting wine club attrition rates.  Wineries who use them may enjoy and initial bump in wine club sign ups – but do those club members drop out faster, in favor of a wine club where the tasting room staff focused more on authenticity and story telling?

We’re just thinking about it, and thought we’d share it with you.

Please note, we have links at the bottom of this post to some of the articles mentioned in this Facebook conversation.

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