What are the six key elements that define a luxury wine? What’ll surprise you about Dom Pérignon that makes it different from other luxury wines? Which two wine gadgets must you own as a wine lover?
In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I’m chatting with Robert Vernick and Peter Yeung, co-hosts of the XChateau podcast.
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- What are the six elements that define luxury wine?
- Which luxury wines are on Robert’s bucket list?
- What’s it like to have a wine tasting with the winemaker for Dom Pérignon?
- How is Dom Pérignon Plénitude even more luxurious than standard vintages?
- Which luxury wine would Peter give a score of 100 points?
- How does aging on the lees impact a wine’s taste and texture?
- What makes Dom Pérignon a distinctive luxury brand?
- Who was Dom Pérignon?
- What are the four categories of luxury wine buyers?
- What’s Robert’s approach to buying and collecting luxury wine?
- What does Peter love about the 2013 Oddero Barolo?
- Why should you add RAEN wines to your must-try list?
- How can you pair 2013 Oddero Barolo and RAEN Pinot Noir with food?
- What are Peter and Robert’s favourite wine gadgets?
- I found their discussion of the elements that make a wine a luxury brand fascinating, especially the psychological motives beyond simply drinking a fine wine.
- It’s quite a feat for Dom Pérignon to produce 5 million bottles almost every year and still have consumers believe in its rarity and scarcity.
- Brand stories are central no matter what you’re selling. People relate to people, not things. We remember the story of Dom Perignon even if we get some aspects of it confused like he tried to get the bubbles out of his wine, not in, though he was a master blender.
- I’ve since purchased a box of Repour closures and I think they are making a difference. I also bought the Durand Corkscrew, though I have yet to use it – hoping for a dried-out cork soon.
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For wine, there’s a very specific element where it gives you all sorts of pleasure mentally, as well as physically, and it’s something you can share with others. - Peter Yeung Click to tweet
The P3 was incredibly fresh and vibrant. It was amazing. There’s all this tropical citrus and other things that you don’t normally get out of Champagne. - Peter Yeung Click to tweet
That’s the beauty of storytelling. He’s become this mythical, bigger than life figure that when he was alive, probably was just a pretty good winemaker. - Peter Yeung Click to tweet
Some people like that scarcity element, to say, I own this bottle and it’s super rare and hard to find and I can show my friends and that sort of thing. - Peter Yeung Click to tweet
I don’t buy wine just to let it sit there and appreciate. I like to drink it and actually enjoy it with other people. - Robert Vernick Click to tweet
About Robert Vernick and Peter Yeung
Robert Vernick and Peter Yeung co-host the XChateau podcast that features insights, analysis, and perspectives on news and trends in the wine industry beyond winemaking, such as marketing, finance, and consumer trends.
Robert is a noted wine blogger who holds the WSET Diploma. Peter is wine business consultant and the award-winning author of Luxury Wine Marketing published by Infinite Ideas in Oxford, U.K. He was named one of Wine Business Monthly’s 2020 Wine Industry Leaders.
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- Unreserved Wine Talk | Episode 142: Learn About Wine via Podcasts, Books, Influencers with Robert Vernick & Peter Yeung
- Unreserved Wine Talk | Episode 86: How We Buy Wine Based on Secret Retail Triggers with Dr. Tim Dodd
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Natalie MacLean 0:00
What makes Dom Pérignon such a great luxury brand apart from you know, it’s really expensive and it’s really great.
Peter Yeung 0:06
It is the largest produced luxury wine in the world, 5 million bottles of it. Even at that production level, it’s able to have maintained its status, its scarcity, and it’s quality. So to have been able to establish such a success, keep that story there, keep some prestige, keep the prestige of the brand while having expanded. It’s, you know,
Natalie MacLean 0:29
That is amazing. And I guess it’s the story as well of the monk Dom Pérignon.
Peter Yeung 0:34
He was probably influential in establishing how champagne is made, but he didn’t invent it and I don’t think his name was necessarily that big back then. That’s the beauty of storytelling, right? He’s become this mythical bigger than life figure that when he was alive, probably was just like a pretty good winemaker.
Natalie MacLean 1:01
Do you have a thirst to learn about wine? Do you love stories about wonderfully obsessive people, hauntingly beautiful places, and amusingly awkward social situations? Well, that’s the blend here on the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast. I’m your host, Natalie MacLean and each week, I share with you unfiltered conversations with celebrities in the wine world, as well as confessions from my own tipsy journey as I write my third book on this subject. I’m so glad you’re here. Now pass me that bottle please. And let’s get started.
Welcome to Episode 143. What are the six key elements that define a luxury wine? What will surprise you about Dom Pérignon, that makes it different from other luxury wines? And which two wine gadgets must you own as a wine lover? You’ll get those answers and more wine tips in our second part of our chat with Robert Vernick and Peter Yeung, the Co-hosts of XChateau podcast. If you missed our first conversation last week, no worries, you can still listen to this one. But then go back and take a listen because I think you’ll enjoy it as well. In the shownotes, you’ll find a full transcript of our conversation, links to both of my books, how you can join me in a free online wine and food pairing class. And where you can find me on Zoom, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live video every Wednesday at 7pm. That’s all in the show notes at Nataliemaclean.com/143.
Now on a personal note, before we dive into the show, I just binge watched Good Girls Revolt. It’s the story of a group of young women working at Newsweek in the 70s. They’re all researchers but aspire to be reporters, like the men they assist. The laws have changed, but not the reality of the workplace when it comes to promotions. I just love the final episode. I won’t give it away, but it reminds me a lot of the wine industry. And after decades of good girl compliance, I’m ready for revolt, starting with my memoir. Okay, on with the show.
Natalie MacLean 3:34
Let’s talk about the luxury category. Peter, you’ve written the book, show us the book, Luxury Wine Marketing, you wrote the book literally with Dr. Liz Tosh. Which university does she work at?
Peter Yeung 3:47
Natalie MacLean 3:48
Oh, great. So you two collaborated on this book? So let’s start off with what is luxury wine beyond an expensive one?
Peter Yeung 3:56
Yeah, and I think that’s important because I think people just think price normally when they think of delineating that, and price is a good shorthand for the most part, but it’s not enough to be a luxury product, you have to be desired. And we have six elements that define what a luxury wine is. So it’s really high quality of course, coming from a special place. I think that’s very specific for wine, that terroir and everything is unique. There’s a sense of scarcity. So it may not be that it’s actually scarce, but there’s at least a sense of scarcity and sometimes driven by price. It has a high price; elevated price point. It provides a sense of privilege. And I think that’s true of all luxury goods, where it helps you differentiate people just with that sense of privilege, you feel special for having and enjoying and it provokes pleasure. So I think that for wine it is a very specific element where it gives you all sorts of pleasure mentally, as well as physically and it’s something you can share with others.
Natalie MacLean 4:57
Absolutely. That’s a great definition, very holistic. You know, when I think of luxury wines, I think of like Domaine Romanée-Conti, the iconic Burgundian wine that probably goes for hundreds, if not 1000s of dollars a bottle when it’s released. And so I tend to think that it’s a very small market, the luxury wine market, but it’s surprisingly larger than we think. How big is the market Peter?
Peter Yeung 5:20
We thought it was, you know, might be too small, too. And so when we actually did the market sizing, and for shorthand about $100 above, we found it was a $5 billion a year market. So it was much bigger than we anticipated and what other people thought it would be.
Natalie MacLean 5:39
And 5 billion; is that US or worldwide?
Robert Vernick 5:43
Natalie MacLean 5:46
Wow. That’s pretty huge. Robert, what’s the best luxury wine that you’ve ever tasted? And what is the one that’s on your bucket list?
Robert Vernick 5:56
Oh, I mean, I’ve had the luxury of tasting a lot of nice wines over the years. I haven’t had the big two from Domaine Romanée-Conti; Romanée-Conti and La Tâche. Those are two on my list; I have had all the other wines from them, but haven’t had that. So those are on my list. But there’s a whole wide range of wines that would be on that list in terms of that. It’s always hard to pick like what’s your best one or favourite one that you haven’t had.
Natalie MacLean 6:19
Sure. Do you have one from California Robert? A cult wine from California, that you’d love to try? Or that you’ve had,
Robert Vernick 6:29
Yeah, I’ve had most of them um, there’s nothing that I’m like dying to try and haven’t had. So yeah, being in California, it’s a little easier to get those than some of those other ones.
Natalie MacLean 6:40
Yeah, they’re in your backyard so to speak.
Peter Yeung 6:39
I really remember trying at I guess the winery or at the Abbey. I had a tasting with Dom Pérignon, and the winemaker at the time in Champagne. And so we had the last five vintages I think of the regular wine and then two P2s and then a P3 which was the 70-73 I believe,
Natalie MacLean 7:02
Why did they call it P3? Or is it Pérignon shorthand
Peter Yeung 7:05
No, its Plénitude (http://socialvignerons.com/2019/09/04/what-is-plenitude-champagne-by-dom-perignon/). It’s aged in the bottle longer. So they keep some stock ageing from that vintage. And then they’re tasting it all the time. And when it hits what they consider, Richard Geoffroy at the time, he’s retired. Richard was the winemaker. When they taste and it hits that next level of quality, I guess or the next expression, they call it Plénitude, and then they bottle a bunch. And they sell it for a lot more money. And then they wait again. And when it hits that next level again; and so it’s not just the same wine aged longer, like that was already bottled or disgorged. It was aged on lees for decades. The P3 was incredibly fresh and vibrant and just, it was amazing. There’s all these sort of tropical citrus and other things that you don’t normally get out of champagne. And if I scored wine and like that would be 100 point wine for me.
Natalie MacLean 8:05
Wow, that sounds beautiful. And so P3, is it from a certain vintage or just as it ages?
Peter Yeung 7:05
It was from a certain vintage, ,so it was like I believe the 73 vintage. And this was three or four years ago, maybe like 2018 I think you’re probably 2017. And so it had been ageing all that time and was just recently disgorged. And so, you know, like late disgorged. This was like very late disgorged.
Natalie MacLean 8:38
Yeah, decades later. Well, and the lees just for anyone who might be listening and isn’t sure what those are, those are the spent or the dead yeast cells, but it gives it a very creamy, rich texture when wine is aged on the lees. And so like approximately, I know, like can’t nail it, but Dom Pérignon itself, sort of, I can’t even say basic Dom Pérignon, that’s an oxymoron. But when it’s released, is it about $300 a bottleish?
Peter Yeung 9:05
In the US I think it’s around $175 or so.
Natalie MacLean 9:08
Okay, I must be thinking Canadian dollars then. That would make sense. And then a Plénitude, like, how much more would that be in a second and a third.
Peter Yeung 9:17
So the P2s are usually in the $300 to $400 range, and the P3’s are usually $1000 plus. Could be like $2000 or $3000. Because that’s literally decades and very small production.
Natalie MacLean 9:30
Wow. And what makes Dom Pérignon such a great luxury brand, apart from you know, it’s really expensive, and it’s really great. So quality and price are there, but what is it about that brand that really works for it?
Peter Yeung 9:43
I think one of the things that’s very distinctive about it and how it’s amazing is how big it is. Everyone has heard of it, one; and then two, it’s like, it is I think the largest produced luxury wine in the world when they make wine, which isn’t every year, but almost every year, like 5 million bottles of it. so Champagne is like, littered with underground cellars with Dom Pérignon in it. But even at that production level, it’s able to have maintained its status, its scarcity and its quality. We just talked about how good the wines are right? So even collectors, like semi collectors, Robert’s bar collector, maybe a semi collector, still cherish and value, that wine and that brand. So to have been able to establish such success, keep that story there, keep some prestige, keep the prestige of the brand while having expanded its, you know, versus like Krug, is even though it’s in the same house, they’re all owned by LVMH, is much, much smaller. It’s 20,000 cases, I think versus like a few 100. It’s like 10 times smaller, then Dom Pérignon
Natalie MacLean 10:53
And what is the LVMH? It’s Louis, Louis,
Peter Yeung 10:57
Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy. Yeah, yeah. So everything from Louis Vuitton, to Sephora, to, you know, Colgin Cellars in Napa and to a bunch of Champagne houses, actually Moët & Chandon and Dom Pérignon, and Krug, and some of the other top wines of the world.
Natalie MacLean 11:17
That is amazing. And I guess it’s the story as well of the monk Dom Pérignon. What’s true, what’s not true, he was a blind monk, Benediction?
Peter Yeung 11:27
Yeah, and he was probably influential in establishing how Champagne is made. But he didn’t, let’s say invent it and I don’t think his name was, you know, necessarily that big back then. But that’s sort of the beauty of the storytelling, right? He’s become this mythical bigger than life figure that when he was alive, probably was just like, you know, a pretty good winemaker.
Natalie MacLean 11:51
Yeah, that’s true. I think you’ve written about this, Peter but I’d love to hear Roberts take. But I think sometimes the story is as important as the brand, and especially if there’s an element of struggle, perhaps for him, it’s maintaining his vows and making the best wine you can. But there’s also a rags to riches story that can come with these brands, too, right?
Peter Yeung 12:13
Yeah, for sure. I mean, the story is so critical. When I worked and helped manage Kosta Browne winery in Sonoma, the story of the founders who saved their tip money in a tip jar everyday working at a restaurant in Santa Rosa, to start their passion project of Pinot Noir and wine to, you know, having now sold it a couple times. becoming one of the more I think iconic names in California Pinot Noir, is certainly, you know, you could have rags to riches stories and wine.
Natalie MacLean 12:46
Hmm. So Robert, Peter has talked about four categories of luxury wine buyers, in which of those categories would you place yourself, when you do buy a luxury wine?
Peter Yeung 12:57
I’ll remind him that there is the luxury wine buyer, the wine collector, the wine geek and the aspirational buyer
Robert Vernick 13:06
Yeah, I’d probably be in the wine geek or aspirational buyer.
Natalie MacLean 13:11
Tell us about those, Robert.
Robert Vernick 13:14
Yeah, I will spend money on wine. And I kind of hunt down, I never buy things in cases, I’ll buy one offs. I will usually buy multiple things from producers to sort of understand their style, see, if I like it, maybe even a couple of vintages, you know, and one off bottles. And if I start to like it and think it’d be interesting to collect, maybe buy three, like that’s my magic number. I can buy drink one early on, and I can check in on one. And if I was too early, I can hold one back. So that’s like my magic number of buying things, if I really start to like it, and as I’ve gotten older, I’m basically buying less things but better things. So I’m always kind of looking because I can’t afford to buy you know, I don’t have the DRC or Roumier or Rousseau allocation. So I’m kind of looking for that next level down, which is kind of like people who are starting to get better, but at a certain point, some of those vintages are going to get too expensive for me as well. So I’m always kind of looking for that third layer down where it’s like people are who are kind of on the rise and a lot of my collecting is either on some of the high end stuff and Napa but also a lot of Burgundy and I always have a couple of Bordeaux that I buy as well just because I really love aged Bordeaux. Those are the main areas that I kind of buy things on in new releases.
Peter Yeung 14:20
I would have said Robert was on the intersection of wine geek and wine collector, because the aspirational buyer, someone who’s looking up at a true luxury buyer, who might be someone like LeBron James is actually pretty knowledgeable about , but like a celebrity or someone who’s like truly wealthy who’s just buying high end wine brands because they know it’s good, but they’re not really like super into wine. And aspirational buyers often look up to those people and they want to feel that luxury. So they’ll buy what I would call an everyday luxury wine like $100 to $200 bottle of wine to have a connection with that, versus the wine geek is someone who’s like interested in all these different intricacies and different brands and regions and whatnot. I think Robert and I both fall in that category. But I think his collection is a little better than mine. And so like, I’d say he’s maybe at that intersection with the collector, not a full collector who’s really interested in all the scores and what’s rare and things like that, but in that intersection of collector and geek,
Natalie MacLean 15:19
And what motivates that collector to buy? Is it just the idea of having trophy wines in the cellar? Or what’s the motivation there?
Peter Yeung 15:28
Well, I think there’s some people in general who just like to collect things, they see value in the story of having different things, or, I mean, I probably am in that category. And my mom tries to get me to get rid of this all the time. But like all the comic books that are stored at her house, like sports cards from the 80s, and 90s, that are worthless, but
Natalie MacLean 15:48
You never know! One card might make your point.
Peter Yeung 15:51
And I’ve tried to look it up to see if that was worth anything now because collectibles have gone crazy during the pandemic, but they’re like that still not worth anything; that was a junkyard era where they just overproduced everything. But some people just love that collection, collecting. Some people like that it increases in value, that some of it increases in value in and some people like that rarity, that scarcity element; to say I own this bottle, and it’s super rare and hard to find and things like that and I can show my friends and that sort of thing.
Natalie MacLean 16:22
Yeah, it was kind of like getting into a concert or a bar before the person became famous. Like I just paid the cover charge to the bar to see whatever bad example; but Celine Dion or whatever, before she hit Vegas. Sorry, Robert, what were you gonna say?
Robert Vernick 16:35
The collection aspect is interesting for me. It’s like, can I get something that’s obscure and interesting and hard to get and share it with other people that are like minded, right? And so for me, it’s more of like, I don’t buy just let it sit there and appreciate in value. I buy it to drink it and actually enjoy it with other people
Natalie MacLean 16:50
And to share with them an experience they might not find for themselves. That’s a good aspect to it. Well, it’s just making me thirsty. I’ve got water, but you have wine. So show me which bottles you both have with you today. Peter, what do you have there?
Peter Yeung 17:05
I have a 2013 Oddero Barolo. I’ve made it easier for my sister to buy me birthday presents. So she buys me three bottles of this wine every year for my birthday,
Natalie MacLean 17:19
Nice sister. Wow. That’s great.
Peter Yeung 17:22
Yeah, so Barolos, we talked about was the wine that got me into wine. And so we tried a few different producers and I really liked it. Oddero has a little bit more of a modern style, but still, the classicism I think of Barolo and the perfume that’s out there and the structure and ability to age for decades, which is always a good thing.
Natalie MacLean 17:43
Awesome. How would you describe it in terms of the aroma and smells that you’re getting?
Peter Yeung 17:48
Well, it’s got that floral, like almost potpourri, kind of aromas, the little bit of that tar, you know, they say tar and roses for Barolos. So it has a touch of earthiness to it as well and a little bit of oak influence. So a touch of like toast, and cedar. And then on the palate that just like melts, because it’s got a little bit of age to it. So it kind of melts into the mouth and into your saliva glands, right. That acid kind of picking up and with Italian wines, you almost always need to pair with food, or as your the expert on so at 815 in the morning it’s actually tasting pretty, pretty good after brushing my teeth and everything; yet it’s still good. The mark of a great wine, right?
Natalie MacLean 18:37
Yes, we’ll have to pick a breakfast cereal or something. That’s great. Which one do you have with you, Robert? So
Robert Vernick 18:43
I was just up in Sonoma yesterday, for the weekend. So I stopped in visit RAEN, which is a relatively new producer, which is Carlo and Dante Mondavi, who are the sons of Tim Mondavi.
Natalie MacLean 18:56
Oh, okay. It’s called rain as in the rain,
Robert Vernick 18:58
No RAEN. And it’s Research in Agriculture of Enology Naturally, so that’s what it stands for.
Natalie MacLean 19:06
Robert Vernick 19:07
So this is a Fort Ross-Seaview. Their Seafield vineyard, right as the Pacific Ocean is coming in, they have these little coastal hills and they’re just above the fog line on one of those bluffs out there in northern Sonoma coast. So super interesting producer, like, you know, a lot of stem inclusion, but like, you know, I mean, what does this probably like? 12 and a half alcohol? Yeah, 12 and a half alcohol, like really low alcohol, really kind of different style of California Pinot Noir. And I like that they talk about the farming. I like that they have a very specific point of view with their wines. And I think that there’s a lot of things in California Pinot Noir that isn’t great. And so it’s always great to highlight the ones that are doing a good job.
Natalie MacLean 19:44
Awesome and what does it smell like to you?
Robert Vernick 19:46
So I definitely get like this like rose hip and like rose stem, like floral notes from that stem inclusion. Definitely get a lot of kind of like ripe cranberry, red currant, sour cherry. It’s very tart on the nose, red crunchy fruits, but good floral, a little bit of earth spice in there as well. That is a pretty low usage of oak as well, in terms of new oak.
Natalie MacLean 20:09
That sounds good. And Peter, back to you. Apart from breakfast, what would you pair your Barolo with?
Peter Yeung 20:15
Well, I think it could go with very hearty pasta with like a Sugo (traditional Italian tomato sauce) or Ragu (Italian meat based sauce) would go really well with it. Or, you know, like a braised meat, like an Osso Buco or something I think would go really well. Something with a little fat to cut all the tannin and acid, right? And then meld with those slight floral, herbal and earthy notes. I think that those would be pretty good pairings.
Natalie MacLean 20:40
That sounds great. Robert, what would you put that Pinot Noir with?
Robert Vernick 20:43
Yeah, I’m not hung up on pairings. Something like what Peter mentioned would be way too heavy for this wine, I think it would overpower it. I would go with things like pork or like roast chicken. It is important as to how you cook them and what kind of things; I think that pork loin and those things would go well, I think some heavier fish dishes could go well as well or lighter pastas could go as well. But in general, like because it has such good acidity, something a little bit fat, this acidity helps cut through that and almost anything you’d put like cranberry sauce with or like a duck would work as well.
Natalie MacLean 21:14
Nice. Oh, that’s great. Well, I know what I’m having for breakfast. Duck and Osso Buco to get the day started right. So you both have gadgets, because I love to learn about new gadgets. Peter, let’s start with the one that you have. Tell us about it and why you like it.
Peter Yeung 21:33
So this is Repour. It’s a little stopper that just goes into the bottle. And as a wine student, you need to keep a lot of wines open and just taste them. And so I need to keep them fresh. And so this works for a single bottle theoretically, although it has the capacity, I think to absorb two litres of air. Basically, you know, those are like little sachets and different food packages that absorb oxygen. There’s basically one of those inside here. It’s more complicated than that, I think, is basically how it works. And so you just stick it in after you open the bottle and it’ll absorb the oxygen and keep your wine fresh for weeks or months. And so it’s designed to at least take like five glasses out. And so especially for you know, I have to keep a wide range of wines open. And so especially for screw caps or plastic corks or other things because sometimes I’ll use a Coravin as well. I think the Repour works really well.
Natalie MacLean 22:33
Well, and is it reusable? Like on multiple bottles?
Peter Yeung 22:37
This version is not. I think he’s working on one that is, but it is made from recyclable materials. And they have a recycling programme where you can send it back like those Nespresso little capsules, you can send back. Yeah. And technically, you could use it depending on how you drink the wine. You could use it on multiple bottles, but then you’d have to like track how much oxygen as its absorb?
Natalie MacLean 23:03
Sure. And how much are they approximately?
Peter Yeung 23:07
I think they’re about between $1 and $2, depending on how many you buy at a time.
Natalie MacLean 23:15
Oh, that’s cool. And how would you compare its effectiveness with say a preserve spray, if you’ve tried sprays,
Peter Yeung 23:22
I think these work much, much better. The only difference with the preserve spray, the one thing that sometimes is challenging is that so it’s got these little like ridges that stick in. And so sometimes if they’re CO2 or something else in the wine that things will like kind of pop out. So he said to like kind of like screw it in almost. But the preserve sprays work okay, but the problem is you’re putting argon in and then trying to close it back. In that process of closing it back air can come in. And so that can potentially damage the win and not work that well. It only gets a surface oxygen to
Robert Vernick 24:00
It only displaces the surface oxygen, like there’s actually oxygen that’s when kind of bound with the wine. Right?
Peter Yeung 24:04
That’s a good point. That’s the other thing too like because it scavenges the oxygen there’s dissolved oxygen in the wine. And so Roberts point of it, it’s only getting the oxygen on the surface. But this can actually absorb sometimes, this works too well and the wine becomes a little reductive. And you need to open it up after you preserve it. And normally if you open it up, you can hear like a little pop sometimes from that section in there because it’ll scavenge the oxygen that’s even dissolved in the wine as well.
Natalie MacLean 24:33
Cool. That’s great. I need to try that. I haven’t tried those. So thank you for showing me that. And Robert, what do you have?
Robert Vernick 24:41
I have the Durand corkscrew and so it’s basically standard kind of like corkscrew helixand an Ah So. But a collector I think in the south in the US basically patented this device and put them two together. But you really only want to use this if you’re drinking something that’s 20 plus years old, so I typically use it on things that are like 30 years old or older. So if you’re a restauranteur, have old wine on the list or opening old wine for people, like these are great to have, obviously, you can open old wines with the regular corkscrews, or even just an Ah So. But sometimes it kind of like solves the problems that both of them have. So when you’re putting the helix into an old bottle a lot and you start to pull, a lot of times it’s the cork so soft that you shred the cork. And then with the Ah So, sometimes the cork is so loose that when you try to slap it on the side it punches it in. And so this, you put this in and it stabilises that and then you put this as a cross, and the real thing is like you can actually do something like this, and I’ve done this in the past, before I owned this, you can use like a regular waiters corkscrew, and then put the Ah So on top of it, the problem is that you have a lot of gap, like it’s usually the corkscrew would be up to about here, and therefore you can’t get a good grip on some of those older, longer corks. And this helps remove really old corks from bottles. And a couple weeks ago, I opened probably like about 20 old bottles with some friends. And you know, our oldest bottle was 1937. And we pulled that out. And so we pulled out a bunch of old bottles, a couple 61’s and a 49. And everything came out flawlessly with this. I had a couple times where the cork was just so gone that it was nothing was gonna save it. You probably should have used port tongs to get that out. But if you like and drink older wines, again, 25 plus years old, it’s worth the investment because it is not cheap. It’s around $125 I think in the US
Natalie MacLean 26:26
$125. At least it’s reusable. Would it work on just dried corks of wines? They’re not necessarily old? Like would it be useful for that as well?
Peter Yeung 26:34
I mean, sure, I use it for corks that I break. So like you break it in half, and there’s like that little nub or half a cork in. It works really well for that too. I actually use it much more broadly. I use it usually when it’s 10 plus years old.
Natalie MacLean 26:50
Robert Vernick 26:50
Yeah, I use an Ah So a lot like I prefer the Ah So over helix in general. So that works fine for me for 10 to 15 years.
Natalie MacLean 26:57
I’ve got two things for my shopping list. All right. Thank you both for those. That’s great. So as we wrap up, this has been fabulous. Is there anything that we haven’t covered that you’d like to mention? No? We covered it all!
Robert Vernick 27:11
Check out our podcast XChateau, we’d love the visits
Natalie MacLean 27:14
Yes, yes, please tell us where we can find you. Now podcast listeners, look for XChateau, X with a Chateau. But where can we find you online for your website, and so on?
Robert Vernick 27:24
Sure. So XChateau.com is the main thing and then obviously searching that on any podcast locations there. And then on Instagram, we have x_chateau for our user account there. And then my personal is at Wine Terroir or wineterroir.com, also wine terroir on YouTube.
Peter Yeung 27:41
And XChateau has a LinkedIn account that I manage as well. So since it’s a business podcast that makes sense that we’re on LinkedIn as well.
Natalie MacLean 27:50
Cool. That’s great. Well, Peter, Robert, thank you so much for this. It’s been a great conversation. Really appreciate it. And I look forward to our next conversation.
Robert Vernick 27:59
Thanks for having us.
Natalie MacLean 28:00
Okay, bye for now.
Natalie MacLean 28:07
Well, there you have it. I hope you enjoyed our second chat with Peter and Robert. Here are my top takeaways.
Number one, I found their discussion of the elements that make a wine a luxury brand fascinating, especially the psychological motives beyond simply drinking a great wine.
Two: It’s quite a feat for Dom Pérignon to produce 5 million bottles almost every year and still have consumers believe in its rarity, scarcity and premium positioning.
Three; Brand stories are central no matter what you’re selling, people relate to people, not things. We remember the story of Dom Pérignon even if we get some aspects of it confused, like that, he tried to get the bubbles out of the wine, not in and he was a master blender, so he does deserve a lot of credit for that.
And four, I’ve since purchased a box of Repour closures and I think they’re making a big difference. I also bought the Durand corkscrew though I’ve yet to use it. I’m really hoping for a dried out cork really soon.
In the shownotes you’ll find a full transcript of our conversation, how you can join me in a free online wine and food pairing class, links to both of my books, where you can find me on Zoom Insta, Facebook, YouTube Live video every Wednesday at 7pm. That’s all in the show notes at Nataliemaclean.com/143.
You won’t want to miss next week when I chat with Paul K, host of his own podcast, we’re turning the tables and he’s interviewing me. I’m selling more beans. In the meantime, if you missed Episode 86 go back and take a listen. I chat about Wine Marketing Secrets with Dr. Tim Dodd. I’ll share a short clip with you now to whet your appetite.
Natalie MacLean 29:54
What are the big differences fences between the way men and women buy wine?
Dr. Tim Dodd 30:02
Men tend to be trophy buyers. So they buy for cellars and they like to have things that are rare and exceptional, whereas women are a lot more sort of practical for more immediate consumption. They’re conscious of colour and labels, a lot more so than men. And then when people go into a tasting room, they get a free visit around the winery, they get a couple of free glasses of wine, and have a great experience. Women tend to buy wine out of feeling of obligation, they feel obligated because they’ve had such a great experience.
Natalie MacLean 30:49
If you liked this episode, please tell one friend about it this week, especially someone you know who’d be interested in the tips that Robert and Peter shared. Thank you for taking the time to join me here. I hope something great is in your glass this week. Perhaps a wine that you consider a luxury.
Natalie MacLean 31:14
You don’t want to miss one juicy episode of this podcast, especially the secret full body bonus episodes that I don’t announce on social media. So subscribe for free now at nataliemaclean.com/subscribe. Meet me here next week. Cheers.