Using the five senses of wine marketing

Nowadays people can buy anything they want, wherever and whenever they want. The market offers a huge range of choices, perhaps too many. The buying process is driven by many different factors, and marketing and communication are fundamental tools used in persuasion.

This is also true for the wine sector, where wineries are able to transmit oenologists’ work and passion to the final customer through marketing, communication and packaging. This kind of communication happens in two different moments and evokes all five senses.

iconfinder_10_2529923.pngThe first way in which the wineries transmit their message is the purchasing moment. A customer has to choose the wine bottle from a wide range of other competitors. The choice is driven firstly by sight, which is influenced by colours, shapes, writing, lights and shelf position. The customer is going to exclude “neutral” bottles and focus on the ones that capture their emotional interest. As many of us know, colours can stimulate emotions and these feelings can drive our purchasing process. Due to this, appealing colours and images on labels are strongly linked to sales.


The second sense of interacting with the customer is touch. Everyone purchasing a wine bottle is going to grab it from the shelf and feel it. At that moment the shape, the weight, the kind of paper used for the label and the reliefs, deliver a different sense of quality to the possible consumer.

The purchase is completed when the customer is satisfied with what they see and feel when they choose the bottle.

The second moment in which the wineries can use communication to distinguish themselves is in the opening and tasting of the wine. This is a ritual. A ritual in which all five senses play a part. A moment full of pathos.

icons8-hearing-52.pngThe hands have to open the bottle in an elegant way, cutting the plastic capsule and uncorking the bottle. The sounds can be different, powerful and louder for champagnes or quieter for still wines. Moreover, the customer can hear the magic gurgle of wine as it is poured from the bottle into the glass.

The glass of wine is able to show us an incredible spectrum of colours, these colours are the oenologists’ work. They are able to provide the right colour to their wine due to a knowledgeable use of grape skins during the winemaking process.


The sense of smell is divided into a glass of wine between emotional feeling and organoleptic perception. This ritual step brings memories and feelings to the mind because memories and feelings are linked emotionally to those perceptions arising from wine flavours.


Finally, taste. The sense that is the result of the soil and winery work, the one most strongly influenced by the other four. Wine taste delivers physically the winery’s message to the customers. Each step should be studied and developed by the winery team in order to give rise to those emotions coming from the customers’ taste experiences. 

Due to this personal reflection, I believe that winemakers and marketing and communication experts have several reasons to work together. If the wine is great, then marketing has an easier job. If communication is great too, winemakers are able to show their ability to final customers in the best way. Winemakers and marketers must not to be in competition, but they must be complementary.

Federico Dallari Bondanini

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