Friday, August 12, 2005

Wine and Sexism
I recently posted on the sexist comment made by Trevor Croker (Foster Wine Estate’s marketing director). In introducing the Early Harvest wines through a press release Mr Croker commented that “For women, wine is not an intellectual pursuit.” In an article by Jeni Port in the the Sydney Morning Herald Annie Rankin, at Chalice Bridge in the Margaret River region of Australia, commented "Apparently, we need our very own wine because we are all a little simple and don't need too much mental stimulation thinking about wine."

Ms Rankin has replied to the post and again stated her position. As I noted originally I’m sympathetic to Ms Rankin’s dismay and I can appreciate her “umbrage at the ‘gross generalizations’ that women don’t want to be intellectually challenged and think about wine!” But I also still believe that her umbrage is better directed at Mr Croker than the wine. After all the Early Harvest wines may have been designed for women but there is no way that Foster’s can limit access to only women. Its possible that the wine, unlike Mr Croker, may end up being quite palatable “especially if it provides the sort of enjoyment that women (or men) seek”!

Now the interesting bit! In trying to chase down a little more information on the wines I paid another visit to the the Early Harvest web site. The media release (and therefore Mr Croker’s comment) that was associated with the Early Harvest web site has gone the way of the dodo. Is this a victory for the recent negative publicity? Unfortunately not, delving a little further I found in the Q & A section the question “Why did you develop early Harvest wine?”

Part of the answer is “We started the project on the basic premise of asking young women (27-40) to design the perfect wine for themselves.

We had no pre-conceived idea of what this may be, and from this we learnt that for them wine is not an intellectual pursuit, wine is meant to be fun and enjoyed with friends – and of course it has to taste great.”

Oh dear, here we go again!

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