It’s all about loyalty

Fellow Wine Lovers,

Well that’s Week 44 just about finished, just 8 more to go. 

Tuesday saw us put Halloween behind us, Sunday sees us put earmuffs on the dog as Guy Fawkes Night does its thing (although I don’t think the kids call it that anymore) and then it’s full steam ahead to Black Friday Eve on 23rd November.  Christmas adverts are already arriving, Caffè Nero emailed me on Thursday with a preview of their offering and  M&S have already courted controversy, albeit mistakenly.

This leads me to believe that it will soon be Easter.

In the world of wine, not much has changed since we last spoke.  A couple of happy headlines in the trade rag Harpers started the week off well:

Licenced premises down by a third since 2003 – 30/10/23 – A net figure of 44,000 outlets have closed in this period which is roughly six closures per day, every day…

Insolvencies peak driven by hospitality and retail – 01/11/23 – See above

Customer loyalty reins supreme in cost-of-living crisis – 31/10/23 (it’s their typo, not mine, neigh!)

Now this is the sort of business I want to be in.  Zonal Insights GO TECHNOLOGY Report 2023, titled The New Loyalty Landscape: How the cost-of-living crisis impacts hospitality,has been paid by someone to come up with amongst other things, the following insights into Loyalty turn-offs: Consumers’ top five reasons for reducing loyalty

1 If I had a few bad experiences (49%)

2 If they raise the prices (37%)

3= If I had one bad experience (24%)

3= If I don’t get value for money in the cost-of-living crisis (24%)

5 If they were involved in controversy (23%)

This also might be seen as:

51% of consumers don’t mind a few bad experiences

63% don’t find a raise in prices hugely important

76% wouldn’t be put off by one bad experience

76% don’t prioritise value for money

77% don’t really care if they were involved in controversy!

I appreciate it’s not quite so black and white but it does make you wonder what you can really learn from such studies – perhaps most importantly, right now, that there is more than one way of looking at things…

At a local level, I seem to have ordered too much seasonal Bordeaux.  I don’t have enough space on the shelves and need you all to help me resolve this problem.  Seeing things differently, Wayne doesn’t see this as a problem and has told me he knows a man who can help with this. 

I suspect it might be him.

In the rest of the world, this week I have been mainly listening to the Covid Inquiry and have taken little reassurance from the knowledge that everything that we thought was going on in 2020/21 behind the scenes actually was; that Dominic Cumming wasn’t the biggest villain; that Gavin Williamson got a knighthood and that Matt Hancock lied, all the time, to everyone.

Our peripatetic cycling correspondent, fresh from his post-paella siesta, sent me news of an important event in the world of two wheels.  Dutch headwind championships cancelled – due to high winds was the headline in Cycling Weekly, which went on: Usually organisers and competitors are hoping for strong enough winds – with force seven being the minimum acceptable requirement. But with Storm Ciaràn set to reach force 11, organisers decided that discretion was indeed the better part of valour.

Whoever suggested that cyclists are a breed apart might have a point… however, if you’re a cricket fan, cycling into a headwind might seem more palatable than watching the World Cup!

We don’t talk about rugby anymore and football is on the bench for now.  On 6th October, we wrote: …I’m not really sure where professional sport will be in 10 years’ time, given all the rising costs and demands on the hosts…. we read that The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia… has announced its intention to bid for the 2034 World Cup. 

On Tuesday, Australia withdrew their application which meant that Saudi Arabia became the sole bidder – I think it’s becoming more obvious where the future control of sport will sit.

But enough of all this, what shall we taste this weekend?

The white will be the Von Buhl Bone Dry Riesling 2022 – £18.99

Seemed appropriate in Halloween week that we taste a wine with a skull on the label!  This is a wonder, with the dryness you experience in Austrian or Clare Valley Rieslings whilst maintaining the texture that makes the more traditional styles so moreish.  There’s a lovely seam of minerality too – who said all Rieslings are all sweet?

The red will be an old favourite bought from our pal and wine guru Jack – Santa Duc Les Plans 2020 – £15.99.  Benjamin Gras is the 6th Generation of the family to run Domaine Santa Duc and he has definitely carried on the great work his father started.  This is from their Vaucluse property and is a slightly naughty blend of 50% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 15% Merlot, 10%, Cabernet and 5% others.  Jack put us onto this one about 4 years ago and he rarely gives us bum steer.  Lovely dark fruits, a touch of liquorice and a slightly savoury note into the finish – it’s unusual to see Cabernet & Merlot in these parts, but it seems to work!

And that’s me done; look forward to seeing all you loyal customers over the weekend, despite the numerous bad experiences we have offered!!

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