I Am Woman, Hear Me Pour

So many women are becoming the primary wine purchasers that marketers want to do a little something more to entice them. Thus, we now are seeing White Lie, a wine targeting them as a demographic sales niche.

(Not that such a targeted drink is a totally novel idea. Four years ago an Australian company called Barramundi developed a wine brand under that name that was blatently aimed exclusively at women in the United Kingdom market. The line included chardonnay, verdelho and a cabernet/merlot.)

Beringer Blass Wine Estates (BBWE) of California launched White Lie Early Season Chardonnay to U.S. and Canadian markets this past summer, priced under $10 a bottle.

BBWE also produces wines under the Beringer Vineyards, Wolf Blass, Meridian Vineyards, Greg Norman Estates and Chateau St. Jean labels.

Tracey Mason headed the all-female project team. She's BBWE's Director of Innovation, a fascinating title in itself. Says she:

"More than 60 percent of wine drinkers are female and women buy 80 percent of the wine sold in the U.S, yet the wine industry has largely ignored them. project. "So our team started with the question: 'What do women want?' Through research, the team discovered that an astounding 80 percent of women are dissatisfied with their appearance and that 45 percent are on a diet on any given day. And because of the increased demands of career and home, women have less time than ever for themselves or their friends.

"That was our big ’Aha!' We wanted women to feel better about themselves and their choices, realizing that often our desire to have it all means we have to give up something in return: that yummy dessert, the book we’ve been meaning to read, or just sharing a laugh with friends over a few glasses of wine. So, a wine that truly responded to today’s savvy woman has to have more than just a pretty label, it also has to be great tasting and come from a reputable winery."

BBWE winemaker Jane Robichaud developed a technique for making the wine that involved harvesting the grapes relatively early in the picking season when they have lower brix (sugar content). The technique resulted in a wine that is low in alcohol, sugar, and calories.

White Lie now is pushing its appeal to women by working with author Jennifer Weiner -- "a New York Times best-selling chick-lit author," as PR agent Sarah Youngbauer puts it -- to hold a short story writing contest.

Weiner, whose work includes the novels 'Good In Bed' and "In Her Shoes,' soon to be released in theaters starring Cameron Diaz, will judge the “My White Lie” writing contest.

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