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The reason for the value and importance of wine in society

Sometimes it is difficult and almost incomprehensible to understand the high price of a given wine or even the sentimental value that a bottle can represent.

As I said previously, the wine is a venerated and esteemed product since its inception, having even in some markets a mythological connection that results in the designation of "nectar of the gods".

The wine, as explained in the definition of Terroir, is a product characterized by human action. It is the human intervention that defines the quality, the taste, smell and evolution of the final product. There are several characteristics that can be attributed to the appreciation of wine. The valuation given by the Terroir - that creates the reference mark of quality wine - is what I advocate for Portuguese wines.

In the global market of wine, the wine appreciation is made mostly from the wine brands. Beside of the country of production, the region of origin, the producer, grape varieties, wine critics notes or prizes in contests, it is the wine brand that holds the power to enhance the product and which influences the final price of a bottle. Many consumers associate the French wines to quality wines. An image that has been able to assert itself throughout the history of the country and makes of it a good example of management in the appreciation of their products.

Portuguese wines have not yet reached this level of qualification. In my opinion, the producers and commercial agents of Portuguese wines have first to understand the real value of national wines to jointly define a strategy for the development of their product as a country, region, or terroir, with the consumer.

Wine-producing regions are valued on the basis of their wines, their producers, which means that this is a team effort in which the producers and "competitors" assist each other to enhance their products. For this reason the regions become famous in the wine trade, with producers to give way to others, giving them the opportunity to continue the promotion of the wines of such region. Good examples of worldwide appreciation of wines by region are Burgundy (France), Barolo (Italy), Nappa Valley (USA) and Douro (Portugal).

In our country is still evident the difficulty of communication and mutual aid among producers. A barrier that must be overcome to achieve the global goal to enhance the wines of Portugal.

Assigned ratings by publications or wine critics are very popular in the current world market for wines, leading producers to send their wines for appreciation by said critics, hoping to get a positive comment to help promote sales. This is not a very fair way to value the wines. Firstly because it represents the opinion and personal taste of the critic or critical panel comprising the specialized publication, and second because many of the bottles sent to these tastings are samples created specifically for that purpose, not corresponding to what the consumer finds at the sale point. Although it is understandable that for the consumer this opinion can make a difference in the purchase of one or another bottle, this is not, in my opinion, the best way to add value to the product.

I believe that the consumer is the best "opinion maker" of a brand.

Your opinion about a particular wine is always more appreciated with his/her friends than the opinion of a critic they never met. An example of the importance of the consumer in the affirmation of a brand is found, for example, in the case of trademarks which are very significant in a market, supporting the speculation of commercial agents, and totally inconsequential in others. All comes from the taste of the consumer. It is he/she who encourages the search for a particular wine, which means the wine brands are valued or devalued depending on the consumption behaviour in each market. The value of wine is really achieved when this is associated with special moments, i.e., when it is shared and celebrated together by consumers.
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