The Pipeline: Wine Me! | Buzz Blog

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

The Pipeline: Wine Me!

Xvalues app gives Millennials a free wine directory

Posted By on March 22, 2016, 5:45 AM

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A recent article in Wine Spectator notes that with 79 million wine drinkers between the ages of 21-38 in 2015, Millennials have become the biggest wine consumers. And we're not just talking your cheap gallon box—this is across the board in price range and quality, with Millennials making up 30 percent of the “high-frequency drinkers.”

So naturally, it would make sense for the online magazine to cultivate this emerging consumer base by offering a free app that Millennials (and, really, all wine lovers) can easily download and start using. In mid-February, Wine Spectator released Xvalues, a new shopping tool for wine shoppers that describes the wine and its pricing.

The app itself is easy to navigate: To start with, wines are divided into four categories: Top Values ($12 and under), Reds and Whites (both $20 and under), and Sparklers ($40 and under). The app is especially useful for those who know next to nothing about wine, because those who have no idea what they want to try other than type usually have no clue where to start. The app offers a guide for you to navigate that's been written up by professionals. So much along the lines of how you'd shop for products on Amazon, the app provides a little hands-on guidance for those who want to learn a little more before they purchase.
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 Once a category is selected, a list of suggested wines is displayed, ranked by Wine Spectator’s point system, along with the name of the wine, the year (vintage), the price and its origin. It’s possible to sort wine selections from highest to lowest prices, the region where grapes were grown, and the grape used to make the wine. Thus, even the pickiest wine shopper has options for seeking out something they've never tried, and can look for new wines to try that they might like.

A recent test drive of the app brought up the Top Values section, where the first selection displayed was Pacific Rim, a white wine produced in Washington state, given 90 points at a cost of $11 a bottle. Clicking on the wine, a description of the wine’s aroma and taste appears, based on Wine Spectator’s review.
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 The app does have two downsides. First, there's no guide showing where in your geographical area the wines can be purchased. It is strictly a list of reviewed wines, and not all will be available locally. Nor are there any outbound external links to take you to the wine producer’s website. Ultimately, all the app provides is a review of the wines, and it's up to the consumer to find out if the wines are available at the state liquor store.

The big issue with the app on a local level is whether or not this helps people purchase wine within our state. While it does help you look up different wines you might not have known about, it's not helpful for purchasing or locating.

So perhaps the best way to utilize the app is to head to a state liquor store, open the app there and look up the wines that are on the shelves. You’ll learn more about wines you might want to buy, and you’ll be able to see if the state liquor store’s pricing is on target.

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