Monday, October 4, 2021

Rant: What Happens When The Grape Day Is Over?

In the last few weeks, there have been celebrations for Sake Day (October 1) and Plavac Mali Day (September 21). Every month, there are similar days, holidays which are intended to promote a specific grape, wine or drink. I don't believe all such days are necessary as some grapes and wines are already very well known and popular. 

There are plenty of under-appreciated grapes, wines, and drinks such as Assyrtiko, Sherry and Baijiu, which benefit much more from their own special day rather than Cabernet Sauvignon or Chardonnay. I would much rather see days celebrating the underdogs, helping them to gain recognition and get new fans. They need the publicity, to boost their sales. I want people to broaden their palates, and taste new grapes, wines and drinks.

However, what happens when the drink holiday is over? I'm been thinking about this question recently, curious as to the longer impact, if any, of the drink holiday. On the drink holiday, there are many participants, touting the positive qualities of the grape, wine or drink. There may be many reviews, historical articles, winery profiles, and more. However, days later, the grape, wine or drink falls back into relative obscurity. 

How much long-term impact does a drink holiday have? It's difficult to determine that impact as I don't believe anyone has done a study about that question. There is certainly lots of publicity on the day of the holiday, with plenty of social media mentions, but what happens the day after the drink holiday?

There is an old saying: Out of sight, out of mind. These drink holidays might convert a few people, convincing them to start buying the underdog drink. However, unless the recognition and promotion are ongoing, extending beyond a single day, people will tend to forget what they experienced weeks or months before. 

Wineries and regional organizations might unite for a drink holiday, but they also need to unite at other times as well, to reinforce the awareness of their grape, wine or drink which was promoted during the holiday. They shouldn't just do this once a year, as memory is fragile, and requires reinforcement. Maybe quarterly, these wineries and regional organizations could continue their united promotion, to ensure their grape, wine or drink doesn't end up in obscurity. 

The same applies to drink writers, who should be writing about these underdog drinks year round, and not just an article or two around the drink holiday. Why write dozens of articles about Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay, which are already popular and well known, when you could be more unique, and write about more obscure grapes, wines and drinks. In addition, try to write more than an introductory article about these underdog drinks. Delve deeper into the topic, providing more extensive information to consumers, which might better perk their interest. 

Let drink holidays be a starting point, and not an end point. Let the promotion and discussion of the grape, wine or drink continue year round, so no one forgets about it. It will take more work but it's necessary to gain greater recognition for these wondrous underdogs. I do my part to promote underdog drinks, and I would like to see more writers doing so as well. 

Has any Drink holiday permanently changed your drinking habits? 

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