Mark Aselstine
August 25, 2011 | Mark Aselstine

9/11 Wine

I’ve mentioned before in this space that there are over 5,000 commercially active wineries in the United States, while that represents a lot of choice for both consumers and independent wine clubs, it can be a challenge for a winery to make a name for itself without high scoring bottles of wine.

Many local wineries I’ve spoken with, especially those in Southern California yearn for a national profile with which to market themselves, which would help in both direct to consumer sales as well as gaining contracts with one of the four remaining national wine distributors. They all lament the fact that it simply isn’t easy.

I never thought I’d be mentioning the tragic events of 9/11 on a wine blog, but when a winery bottles a wine and labels it a 9/11 wine I wonder, is this more about raising money for the National Memorial and Museum, or is this simply about selling more wine while gaining a foothold in the national media for your brand?

No one outside the winery knows for sure what their most important goal was (charitable or financial) and while it isn’t a project I’d want to be associated with, I can and do respect any attempt to help raise money for a memorial which has been entirely too long in the making. As the winery’s general manager said, “people have different ways of giving back” which is certainly true, but in this case when so much has transpired and wounds will continue to be fresh for years to come because of the enormity of the loss, I hope the winery itself will exercise caution when marketing the product.


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