As technology puts distance between us and the real world, consumers increasingly value getting up close and personal with products and experiences

Wine is a product that requires quite a lot of intimacy. We like to pick up the bottle, run our fingers over the label, hear the cork pop out and the glug of liquid into the glass. We admire the colour, breathe in the aromas, and savour the taste. All five senses are engaged.

As our lives become more digitised and more sedentary, we’ve grown to appreciate “authentic” experiences like this a little more. For some, the antidote to a week in an air-conditioned office staring at a screen is the high-octane challenge of scuba diving, hang gliding or mountain biking. For others, a visit to a bistro or wine merchant might provide all the sensory thrills that the week has lacked.

This Sensory trend is outlined further in our Global Consumer Trends Report 2015. It partly explains why attendances at football matches are soaring, despite the ubiquity of televised games, and why live music is so popular at a time when downloads are so cheap and convenient.

It may also explain why the internet hasn’t achieved the stranglehold on wine sales that some experts thought it might have done by now. Of course, the web has made wine more accessible to consumers in remote areas, and to those in search of hard-to-find products. But while you can watch cinematic videos of vineyards and read endless tasting notes online, you can be left with a sense of frustration that you can’t go further.

No wonder independent wine shops are booming, tasting events are oversubscribed, and wine tourism is in the ascendancy. It makes perfect sense.

Author: Graham Holter

Email: Graham@wineintelligence.com