Why I started Vynl

Why I started Vynl

I guess my first realization that I wanted to go out into the world and, much like my father before me, change the perceptions of a beloved beverage by making it more accessible to people came when I was on holiday in South Africa. Drinking nights away with friends, sabering bottles of sparkling wine to celebrate, even just sipping on wine surrounded by the beauty in which it was produced made me very affectionate and romantic towards wine. I first wrote about my new love in a Medium blog post. I loved talking about drinks, particularly wine and, how they made me feel. I wanted to share the appreciation that I had for drinking wine with others. What I loved was the appreciation of the craft, that somebody had put the time into this thing so that you could enjoy it for just a moment.

Winemakers spend years learning and honing their talents so that they can connect with someone for just a few minutes. Much like how a rockstar has been practicing their guitar, or training their voice, for years until everything that they have done culminates in a mind altering experience for someone, somewhere, whom they will never know. Passion, pride, and diligence are poured in to make something magical. Then it is released on the world, and events conspire to come together, leading you to that moment where the first note, the first chord, riff, sip, scent, that grips you and never lets you go. There was something beautiful in the similarity between the two, music and wine, and I knew I wanted to bring them together somehow.

Now for the business inspiration.

An article in the Wall Street Journal noted that millennials are changing wine. We are changing the way it is bought and sold, shifting trends, tastes, challenging wisdom, but most importantly we are changing the way that we talk about wine. What struck me most is, like everything millennials consume, was that we are entranced by a good story. We want to know about what makes the wine special, where it came from, why it is special. Point rating systems, technical, and detailed descriptions are so over right now. Yes we want to know that a bold red has an earthy taste to it, but what does that say about the wine’s character? We want to know what went into it, because it makes us feel better about what we get out of it!

The problem is that in the current industry environment, a lot of millennials are drinking mediocre wine because it has a good story. As a wine lover, I simply cannot let that stand! There are so many amazing wines out there that we really should not be wasting our time with mediocre wines. However we just are not connecting with them because they have been stuck in the old world of point ratings and descriptors. Points are expert opinions, and they should be respected, but we live in a social world where we are constantly sharing and aggregating data at an incredible rate. We no longer yearn for expert opinion, but rather the knowledge of what our friends, and or peers are up to. We want to know what delights each other, and are quick to jump on board with that. Marketers have caught on to that, and present amazing stories before amazing product. In age old industries though, those with amazing product have not caught up just yet.

Millennials will soon pass Generation X and the Baby Boomers as the largest consumers in wine, both in volume and in value. And yet few of us know anything about it. Sure, we flock to tastings, to events, and to parties that celebrate wine, but it is more about drinking wine than it is about learning how to drink wine. Yet we still yearn to learn more about it. Another problem being that, wine education is difficult and time consuming. We just do not have the time to learn more about it unless we worked in the industry and wanted to continue down that path.

So what am I talking about? Well here is a quick recap:

  1. Millennials are going to be the largest consumption group of wine, overtaking boomers and X’ers in both volume and value,

  2. The conventional wisdom in marketing wine just does not resonate with us.

  3. The process of mastering wine tasting is outdated, time consuming, and not fun.

Which leads me to Vynl.

The idea behind Vynl is to create a platform that elevates the experience of wine for our generation, doing it our way, and taking control of how we talk about wine. It starts by connecting people with wines that rock, amazing wines from around the world that this amazing, adventurous generation can easily get their hands on. In doing so we open up the world of wine to a more daring consumer, we share stories of wine, our experiences with wine, and we share with each other the best wines from around the world. We also make learning about wine, including proper tasting techniques, selecting wines for different occasions, and buying wine a hell of a lot more accessible. We want to allow people the opportunity to explore the world of wine at their own pace, in their own way, and be expressive about what they love as they want. It really is all about sharing wines that rock with the world, and the world sharing with each their wines that rock.

As I continue work on developing the product(s), I am using the site to gauge interest, learn from people, wine lovers, explorers, and newbies; while sharing with the world just how amazing different wines from near and far can be. My first wine that rocked was Pinotage, and soon I will be talking about Malbec and Viognier as two more wines that rock and will just blow your fucking mind!

Damian PridayComment