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Oh my GAWD! What next???

I never liked the book titles, but this????


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  1. Do I take it you won't be tempted to try a bottle of Pee-no Gree-joe ?

    1. oh, that's just depressing.

      1. Jason, please sit down. We are going to disagree once again.

        It's not for you or me, but I actually like this concept which I think will educate consumers.

        17 Replies
        1. re: collioure

          Well, there's one born every minute . . .

          1. re: zin1953

            Jason, this confirms that you are more of a wine snob than am I.

            1. re: collioure

              I'm less of a wine snob than most and IMAO ten bucks is too much for a no-name bottle. I think that this was Jason's point.

            2. re: zin1953

              I must admit that I hadn't noted the $10 price tag a few days ago.

              Nevertheless I am not going to dump on this idea like a wine snob.

              You see, many wine consumers really are dummies when it comes to wine. A good wine shop might well intimidate them.

              So on a fundamental level these generically labeled wines might work to introduce uneducated consumers to varietals. With such they may learn that they like Cabernet, for example. Then when they are ready they can pursue better labels of the varieties they have preferred.

              1. re: collioure

                I could do all that without picking up a $10.00 bottle named wine for dummies. So, whether I'd be considered a wine dummy or not, I'd rather be directed to a really great Cab that YOU'D drink.

                Baby steps in wine buying? Why?

                I thought that how the wine tastes matters most (once you find a price range you're happy with).

                Who has tasted this wine? At the very least a wine tasting is in order :)

                1. re: HillJ

                  According to the article in the OP this wine is being sold in a grocery store and a discount store. So who exactly is educating the uneducated consumer? Is WFD's suggesting that the label alone is suppose to do that?

                  1. re: HillJ

                    Well, at least they'll know how to pronounce it!

                  2. re: HillJ

                    Given the fact that the wines are "trading" on the "__________ for Dummies" brand, I wouldn't expect the wine to be of 2BC quality -- that would cause too much damage to the main brand. I would imagine it is akin to Yellow Tail, etc. But you're quite right: a tasting *is* in order -- or, at least, would be were I contemplating purchasing it for a retail store for which I was consulting.

                    As it is, I'll pass . . .


                  3. re: collioure

                    Having just moved to a city where most wine gets sold in supermarkets, I have to disagree: the large grocers have well organized and presented wine sections, albeit with a relatively limited range of choices. Wine producers and shippers who must thrive in this marketplace know how to label and present their mostly varietal wines--I was impressed with the amount of basic info on large-scale producer labels I'd never had reason to encounter when we lived in Manhattan. There are already simple, plain spoken, attractively presented varietals on shelves with shelf-talkers and other info. Just stop into a Trader Joe's or Costco These gimmicks, even if they were not a ridiculous $10, will fail on every level. People open to learning more about wine might have and use the book, but likely would be aghast at having a bottle of this joke on their table.

                    1. re: bob96

                      In a world where the wine trade classifies wine from$10 to $14 as "premium", and everything at $15 and above as "luxury", I'm not sure $10 is "ridiculous".

                      When I was getting ready to open my wine shop I was reminded by a friend/distributor rep that the average selling price of a bottle if wine in SoCal was South of $6. That was a sobering piece of info.

                      1. re: Midlife

                        During the course of this thread I've visited the Wine for Dummies website and three third party sites promoting it and I have yet to read what's actually filling the bottles. Anyone know specifically where the wine comes from in each bottle?

                        eta: Just visited the producers site:

                        1. re: HillJ

                          In NJ, (and didn't you all read this label is coming out of NJ) you can't buy wine in a Dollar Store and our local Wegman's has a wine store attached to their grocery store but that's not the case everywhere. I will be interested to see where this wine is for sale in NJ since NJ is listed as currently selling the label. Our local Spirits and Wine Academy haven't carried it (yet). Unlike CA where wine is sold everywhere...

                        2. re: Midlife

                          I'm not sure I get your point about the price: I think $10 is ridiculous for this line of generic plonkers. There are many sound, delicious wines of real provenance for under $10, wines novices can enjoy and even learn from. I've filled my wine racks with many terrific $10 or less bottlings from Languedoc, Greece, Sicily, Puglia, Portugal, the Rhone, and even California.

                        3. re: bob96

                          Sorry, folks, these wines are NOT for YOU!

                          So just take a step backwards and watch what happens, please.

                          1. re: collioure

                            Have you tasted these wines? You may well be right but, if not, it just seems like the ultimate of snobbery to make such a statement. Even if you have, how can you speak for others without some specifics on the characteristics of these wines.

                            My wife and I enjoy higher-end wines we buy often (in the $35 to $60 dollar range) but also find some daily drinkers (around $5) that we're just fine with. One of our summer favorites is a Vinho Verde we pick up at Trader Joe's for something like $4.49.

                            1. re: Midlife

                              Forget about it!

                              These wines are not being marketed to you.

                              1. re: collioure

                                Of course not, but that wasn't my point. I think you know that.

                  4. If Wine for Dummies is intended to be a joke for wine newbies, sell the bottles at Spencer Gifts! If this is where anyone truly interested in learning about wine edu is heading, I'm disappointed. Novelty is its own category.

                    But this post really is no different than some of the "celebrity wines" you've also poked fun at.

                    14 Replies
                    1. re: HillJ

                      Ummmm, in the FWIW Dept., off the top of my head, I can only think of two "celebrity wines" I've posted about -- the Drew Barrymore label (which, true, I *was* criticizing), and Chateau Miraval, owned by Brad Pitt & Angelina Jolie (which I was not).

                      1. re: zin1953

                        Those were the two off the top of my head too. Your contributions to this board go back farther than my memory allows but those two work for me.

                      2. re: HillJ

                        If I was in the retail wine business and believed my knowledge and experience was enough to educate any customer walking through my doors, I would be insulted to carry a wine for dummies. Could this suggest most people don't take the time to speak with their wine store staff or don't trust them enough to ask for help? Does a $10.00 bottle of wine require asking for help? Do customers new or experienced to wine buying shop by price? And if those working in the industry are annoyed by such novelty wines-what can you do about it? And if your reaction is just another reason to poke fun at folks too dumb to know better-well that's just another reason why the brand new to wine don't ask for (wine) help.

                        1. re: HillJ

                          I could be way off here, but I really think this is just about the use of a brand that is familiar to people who use the 'Dummies" books to get information on things they want to know more about. If I'm right about that, I think these guys may have a winner.

                          Oh, and I'd really disagree about whether or not $10 is a price at which people would ask for help. In my wine retail job I constantly encounter people who ask for help regardless of price. The conversation usually starts with "I know nothing about wine...........".

                          1. re: Midlife

                            I asked a number of questions, Midl. No assumption on my part, just questions. IF the intent of zin was to poke fun at yet another wine label to enter the market, I just wonder how useful this type of wine image is to consumers or to wine store mgr.

                            IF the aim is to raise the bar on wine edu, does a wine designed to educate called ...Dummies really do it?

                            As a novelty wine, I could def. see buying it just for laughs.

                            What does this wine taste like and who's wine is inside the bottle? Looks like it will be sold in my area...

                            1. re: HillJ

                              Last question...if the "popular" book Wine for Dummies comes out with a 6th edition will it include the WINE for Dummies within the recommendation list? If so, why?

                              1. re: HillJ

                                The "Wine for Dummies" Wines was simply a licensing of the name to attach to some generic wines by Vision Wine & Spirits. Portfolio here:

                                Press release in Business Week here:

                                Probably came from the Marketing division of IDG, which is separate from the Print/Publishing Division (Wiley, computer mags).

                                Ed McCarthy and Mary Ewing Mulligan, who wrote the books (quite well, IMO), are both very well respected in the world of wine, and unless the wine is good, I doubt they'll recommend it. They probably had nothing to do with the licensing of the "Dummies" name for bottles of wine, and are rolling their eyes at this enterprise.

                                1. re: maria lorraine

                                  maria, I hadn't even considered what the book authors think about the wine, interesting. If they don't actually endorse the wine version of the licensiing why should anyone else? Perception being what it is.

                                  I was able to find all the references you highlighted but not a lick on what's actually poured inside the bottle (beyond a general region reference) or how it tastes. Even the Wine for Dummies (WINE) website does not have a single quote, review or reference on what the wine tastes like.

                                  Vision Wine & Spirits is in New Jersey. I live in NJ. I had not heard about this wine until this thread.

                              2. re: HillJ

                                Cannot speak for Jason, but I feel that he was commenting on where things might be headed?


                            2. re: HillJ

                              >>> If I was in the retail wine business and believed my knowledge and experience was enough to educate any customer walking through my doors, I would be insulted to carry a wine for dummies. <<<


                              Well, first of all, I would NEVER carry these wines in any store over which I had any responsibility or sway. I find the concept/label insulting to both retailer *and* consumer.

                              If you recommend the wine to a customer, aren't you in effect saying, "Here, you're a dummy -- buy this." and if you are a consumer who picks it up on your own, aren't you saying, "Yeah, I'm a dummy; I admit it. I don't know $#!+ about wine so I'm gonna get me some of that pee-no gree-joe."

                              >>> Could this suggest most people don't take the time to speak with their wine store staff or don't trust them enough to ask for help? <<<

                              Suggest? I thought these days, that was the rule,rather than the exception.

                              >>> Does a $10.00 bottle of wine require asking for help? <<<

                              In theory, I always tried to treat every customer the same, whether they're looking for a $40 bottle of Burgundy, or a 4.0L jug of "Burgundy," but I think it's clear I'm in the minority, That said, I *always* asked customers if they had any questions, if I could be of assistance, etc., etc. -- and I'm sure that's true of any true wine merchant.

                              >>> Do customers new or experienced to wine buying shop by price? <<<

                              Everybody has a price in mind . . . no one who ever says "price is no object" truly means it. There is a price range in which they feel comfortable, and one which they can reach for if it's worth it, and a third which is completely, totally, and utterly out-of-bounds. Where those boundaries lie varies with the individual. It may be in the forefront of their mind ("I'm looking for a present for a friend who's into wine, but I don't want to spend more than $100"), or not ("I'm looking for a bottle of Cabernet to bring to a friend's house for dinner; what have you got? . . . . Oh, is there anything less expensive?"). But most customers will have, at the very least, a roughly defined internal sensor that limits purchases over $X -- whatever "X" might be.

                              >>> And if those working in the industry are annoyed by such novelty wines-what can you do about it? <<<

                              So, here's the question: is it a novelty wine? I don't think so. A novelty wine is a Detroit importer bringing in an Italian white wine labeled "Always Elvis, Number 1 in a Series" and then never bringing in #2. A novelty wine is something in a red, white, and blue bottle to celebrate the bicentennial, or a bottle in olive drab, shaped like a canteen for the 60th anniversary of D-Day . . .

                              "Wine for Dummies" is a serious effort by someone (in partnership with, or under license from, the "__________ for Dummies" people) to sell wine and make beau coups bucks. In that regard, it's like "Skinny Girl." Someone had a serious idea . . . some of *us* may think it's funny / stupid / ludicrous / whatever, but I believe it to be a serious effort to build a brand.

                              The "__________ for Dummies" concept, IIRC, started out as a series of computer guide books . . . and *everyone* over the age of 12 felt awkward around computers, and lord only knows the manuals were written to be incomprehensible. In other words, the "dummy" aspect was all-but-universal. but s soon as they started to branch out, they lost the all-but-universal aspect, and began to suffer repercussions (i.e.: people being "turned off" by the titles). But the "__________ for Dummies" people have always been serious, AND they have been quite successful as a book imprint. There is no reason to believe that *they* think a foray into wine wouldn't be just as successful.

                              I don't think it will be. I think they are wrong. But . . . .

                              1. re: zin1953

                                Now that was a fantastic reply!! I enjoyed every minute. Thank you, zin. And, your question about novelty wines is such a good one. I suppose it depends who you ask. I wouldn't take this wine seriously no matter what's intended. But, that's not to say I wouldn't buy it for my own useful or fun purpose. Especially when it winds up on sale for $3.99 at Wegman's and Dollar Store.

                                1. re: HillJ

                                  While we're on the subject of defining things . . . do me a favor: define "poking fun." You have said twice now that I was poking fun at a wine . . .

                                  1) "But this post really is no different than some of the 'celebrity wines' you've also poked fun at."


                                  2) "IF the intent of zin was to poke fun at yet another wine label to enter the market, I just wonder how useful this type of wine image is to consumers or to wine store mgr."

                                  In the first instance, I thought my reply was clear:

                                  >>> I can only think of two "celebrity wines" I've posted about -- the Drew Barrymore label (which, true, I *was* criticizing), and Chateau Miraval, owned by Brad Pitt & Angelina Jolie (which I was not). <<<

                                  But to be even clearer, never was I "poking fun" at EITHER label, not in what I understand the term "poking fun" to mean. And I'm honestly, truly, sincerely at a loss to understand what any possible comment I could make about a wine label -- whether praising, criticizing, or "poking fun" (and believe me, I was being critical!) could affect the usefulness "this type of wine image" has to either consumers or to the trade. It seems you may be ascribing me with powers I do not have, nor would I wish to.

                                  1. re: zin1953

                                    Was I? (ascribing me with powers I do not have,)...because that would be a waste of your time...and I don't believe in such things anyway.

                                    My reference to poking fun is really more of a question. Does a wine called Wine for Dummies get taken seriously? Does a wine with a celebrity involved (in any capacity) get taken seriously? My impression is that they don't and that wine pros and serious wine drinkers don't give these wines the time of day. And wine drinkers like me...we have a great deal to learn. Hope that clarifies.

                                2. re: zin1953

                                  Yes, the "____ for Dummies" was originally based on computer OS's and programs.

                                  However, I did find that the wine books, in that series, were well-written, and fairly educational, though I originally had my doubts about them.

                                  Now that someone has created a marketing sensation, based on some earlier books, I would be skeptical, as I was on their original wine books. They would have to work hard to convince me that my skepticism was ill-place. It might be, or maybe not?


                            3. Hi, Jason:

                              I think it's obvious what's next...


                              PS And likely from the Bravo Channel

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: kaleokahu

                                The Bravo channel has already brought us the "Skinny Girl" wine label.

                                1. re: kaleokahu

                                  "The Real Winemakers of Wines for Dummies"?

                                  "The Real Dummies who want to make Wine"?

                                  "The Real Wine Dummies who will Buy whatever we Promote"?

                                  1. re: zin1953

                                    Those're good. How 'bout: "Real Wine Dummies Willing to Nationally Humiliate Selves by Filming Their Ignorance at Checkout"?

                                2. I thought we already had Wines for Dummies. Two Buck Chuck at TJs and $2.97 at Walmart.

                                  1. Actually kindof the perfect name............ if you think about it. ;o]]]

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: Midlife

                                      Actually . . . I think you're spot on! ;^)

                                    2. Sweet. Hope they make it to TX before the winter so I can bring a bottle to the company VP's holiday party. ;)

                                      1. *sigh* I don't know why the wine world is getting this so wrong. It's not the names of the basic wines that people have trouble with e.g. (chardonnay, pinot grigio or cab sauv). Americans are actually pretty damn good at incorporating different terms into the general lexicon (e.g. Mexican, Chinese, Thai food - tequila brands etc.)

                                        It's figuring out what they taste like and whether they will like that taste. It's the lack of recognizable brand names with consistent tastes that are the biggest problem (e.g. Grey Goose vodka, or Johnny Walker or Patron).

                                        We need a if you like a fruity easy to drink red - here's a $20 bottle that will impress your friends! You will know it and recognize it. The problem is all the recognizable brands are at the low-end of the spectrum.

                                        1. This is not intended as a thread drift but will take a minute for me to get to my point.

                                          Wine is a risky proposition for the majority of consumers. In a restaurant, staff/sommes often appear to be waiting to judge your selection as if it is your credit score ready to deny you a loan, if not literally, based on your ability to choose the perfect wine (not so subtly in too many cases...better not be the cheapest). And this is before your choice is judged by your table companions who may or may not know anything at all about wine.

                                          In a retail situation, well, most wine is purchased without the help of, well again, anyone. So you peer down the cavernous isle of the mega-mart and try to pick something. On average, this will be the most expensive, or close to, item in your cart. Once you open it, you need to use it comparatively fast. You have no idea if you will like it. And even getting it open may be a challenge. While we all, usually, have the tool, it is one of the few tools that simply does one thing and one thing only in your kitchen, open a bottle of wine with a cork. Sure, it CAN open a bottle of beer and I've used the blade on a corkscrew for things unmentionable, but that is not most peoples experience.

                                          So wine is risky as a purchase and we as an industy have not done a particularly good job of making it much easier despite screwcaps and bag-in-a-box and less stuffy labels and people out there who really want to help you buy wine that suits your budget and your taste, whatever that may be.

                                          Cheaper wine is not necessarily the answer. "Fun" labels and alternative packaging are not necessarily the answer. Gary Vaynerchuck is not necessarily the answer...but none of these thing hurt. And I don't think pee-noh gree-joe hurts either.

                                          If nothing else, a bunch of college students reading "Shakespeare for Dummies" might put wine in the pantheon of things that are important--like knowing something about Shakespeare--and also cower in fear when faced with being "found out" that they learned to pronounce Chianti from a "Wine for Dummies" bottle. Maybe, just maybe, this shows that wine has arrived at another level. That wine is a complicated, intricate, exacting world that to learn properly is, hard. But with a little help, maybe you too can be gently eased into it and realize, it isn't so bad.

                                          There are plenty of commoditized labels that help aspirational wine drinkers consume wine instead of other beverages and if, in only a tiny little way, that bottle actually teaches them something about wine...

                                          I'm not really concerned if the wine is great for the price, it can't hurt.

                                          p.s. If the wine blows at $10, this could be a problem.

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: ellaystingray

                                            By the time I got to your "ps" I realized you are agreeing with what's already been questioned about this specific wine.

                                            All that's left is the most important part: tasting the wine.

                                            1. re: ellaystingray

                                              The assumption seems to be that anythign leading to a deep/lifelong investment in learniogn about and appreciating wine is at worst a neutral thing, and can;t hurt. But why always this assumption? For many of us, a life of everyday wine, well-lived with, say a vin gris de Corbieres @ $10 or a Douro @ $12 is just fine. I, for one, don;t care about the latest Sonoma sub-appellations or how easily I can spend $50 for a middling Burgundy. I'm fine with fresh Cinsault rose or a spicy Nemea. Those mega market pinot grigios all lined up mostly have the info needed to determine what you'll find inside, and if one doesn't work, there's always another. That's the fun: try, like, dislike, try another, try something else. Risk is always part of the wine (and nature) game, all the way up the classifications and price points. Easing into wine is, well, easy, if you accept risk, stay open to surprise, and do a little very pleasurable leg work. No gimmicks needed.

                                            2. I have contributed to a couple of books in the "_____ for Dummies" series and they contain excellent information. That said, I REALLY dislike that name. Always have. To me it implies the reader/user is stupid.

                                              When I was a teacher my premise was always that I looked for the best and the intelligence in my students. I would never have thought to refer to even the slowest one as "dummy," altho certainly many of the other teachers did. I find all people rise to the level of your expectations for them. I expect better than 'Dummy."

                                              Okay, I'm done ranting. :) Have a stupendous wine-y weekend, everyone!

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: ChefJune

                                                I've always seen "Dummies" re these books as synonymous with "Newbies" or "beginners". I'll certainly agree that the word "dummies" can be hurtful, but I've never thought it was in this context.

                                              2. Are any worth drinking?

                                                That would be MY criteria, regardless of the PR and hype.