It is perhaps almost universally agreed that Italy produces some of the greatest wines in the world. For centuries the most famous Italian wines have been celebrated in their native country and many have also managed to make their way further afield and into international territories, where a whole new audience of people are introduced to a range of deep flavours and subtle tones.
This gradual spread into international territories had been a slow process before the advent of the internet. Back then, connoisseurs would have to work extremely hard to find particularly rare vintages. For regular people, it was extremely difficult to expand horizons beyond whatever the store happened to be stocking that week. It all meant that, while many wines still became popular overseas, it wasn’t until the Italian wine shop was brought online that people had true choice as to which wines they drink.
So how has the web improved international knowledge of the many great Italian wines and spread the word about them throughout the world? Here are just a few ways that going online has been great for the Italian wine industry.
Before the advent of the internet it could be extremely difficult to get information about a particular winemaker. Without calling them up directly a potential purchaser would have to rely on second and third hand information from people who have bought from them in the past or would have to rely on winemakers who have established reputations if they wanted to ensure they get a good bottle. Back then it was a risk to go with something you didn’t know and it was a risk that could prove costly in the long run.
With the dawn of the internet all of that changed. Suddenly it seemed that all of the information in the world was at the user’s fingertips. With just a few clicks of a mouse a potential customer can examine every single detail of a wine they are looking to purchase. They can check the individual website of the winery that makes the drink, examine information about which foods it is best to drink with and even find other people’s opinions on the wine so that they can build a solid idea of what they are getting before they buy. Today the average buyer is much more informed and able to buy based on varying levels of opinion and a wealth of knowledge that simply wasn’t available before the dawn of the internet.
Following a close second is variety or, to be more accurate, the level of variety that is available to an international consumer as compared to the era when the net wasn’t readily available. As we mentioned previously, before online shopping people who wanted a bottle of wine were pretty much limited to buying whatever the shop had on the shelves at the time and it was extremely difficult to find a shop outside of Italy that specialised in Italian wines to the point where they stocked something a little different to the norm.
Furthermore, those who did want to explore a little further afield would have to ensure they had the money to do so and would have to arrange special imported deliveries for particularly rare vintages. It was a lot of hassle and time spent on getting a bottle of wine that was already readily available to the Italian people.
The internet changed all of that. With the rise of online shopping customers were not provided with a wealth of options when it came to wines. Whereas before they were limited to what those around them knew and stocked, now they could explore for themselves and try vintages that would otherwise have never become available in international territories.
Operating an online shop is a cheaper way for Italian winemakers to penetrate the international market, this has additional benefits for the consumer, as we will touch upon in the next point.
There’s no two ways about it – shopping online is cheaper than buying in store in the vast majority of cases. Cheaper prices have played their own part in the continued spread and increasing popularity of Italian wines as they have allowed for more people than ever to experience drinks that may otherwise have been out of reach or out of their price range.
The dawn of online shopping allowed many retailers to cut many of the physical costs associated with running and maintaining a traditional brick and mortar store. This in turn allows them to lower the prices of their good to attract additional custom, which has resulted in more and more people becoming interested in Italian wines as prices have become more accessible.
The final and, perhaps, one of the most important points. Online shops provide the customer with a certain level of convenience that simply isn’t available at a regular store. When you consider that, in the pre-internet age at the very least, wine lovers would also have had to go well out of their way just to find a shop that stocks an interesting variety of wine you will instantly begin to understand the appeal of being able to purchase something exotic and amazing from the comfort of your own living room.
As technology continues to march on, many of the developments we see will focus on improving levels of convenience for shoppers. Online stores were the first major step and it is this continued convenience, perhaps more than anything else, which has allowed Italian wines to spread and improve in popularity in international markets.
In the end, it all comes down to a mixture of things that combine into a cohesive whole. The popularity of Italian wines has increased exponentially since the dawn of the online era simply because they are more readily available to a wider base of people who are interested in the product. These people now have access to information and can purchase from the comfort of their own home, ensuring that the whole process is quick and easy. As long as that trend continues, Italian wines will also continue to grow in popularity.