Macho image for new range of reds

Macho image for new range of reds News Wine News http://decanter.media.ipcdigital.co.uk/11150/000000b1d/49e7_orh379w110/ray1.gif http://decanter.media.ipcdigital.co.uk/11150/000000b1d/85d0/ray1.gif
  • Friday 31 March 2006

A wine aimed exclusively at men is set to launch in the US - and there won't be any Pinot Noir in the range.

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Sonoma winery Ray’s Station Vineyards is including both a straightforward Merlot and Cabernet Sauvingnon in its new range.

The wines - which sell for US$15 - are being marketed as ‘Hearty Red Wines for Men’, with a galloping stallion on the label. Ads feature owner John G Ray in a series of ‘Marlboro Man’ poses with the strapline, ‘He doesn’t serve Pinot Noir’, according to weblog luxist.com.

As well as eschewing Pinot (given the wrong image by the bookish and definitely un-macho Miles in the film Sideways) the winery has also said it will not be producing any white wines as they are perceived as strictly for ladies.

Ray’s Station is following an honourable tradition of targetting wines. Last year Washington producer Rainier Wine brought out its Mad Housewife range, competing with other female-centric wines like Go Girl Red and Seduction.

Ray’s wines are not the first to aim at the marketer’s idea of a typical male. Sonoma’s Don Sebastiani has a range which includes such labels as Smoking Loon, Plungerhead, Hey Mambo and Used Automobile Parts – all part of a range with the strapline, ‘Laid-back guys, stand-out wines.’

While this sort of thing may play well in a country which – notwithstanding Brokeback Mountain – does not celebrate sexual ambiguity, the UK is another matter.

Phil Hilton, editor of pioneering lads weekly Nuts – latest coverline: ‘Britain’s 50 Best Boobs’ – considers the idea patronising.

‘A lot of our readers are already tuned into wine. Men don’t just drink beer –a lot of them are worried about their waistlines. There is no way the readers of Nuts would buy this wine.’

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