Wine Enthusiast magalog 'essential' for younger market

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In an attempt to reach a younger audience, The Wine Enthusiast has launched a magalog called The Wine Enthusiast Guide to Wine Essentials that will mail to approximately 500,000 homes this holiday season.

The Wine Enthusiast Co., Elmsford, NY, publishes The Wine Enthusiast catalog and Wine Enthusiast Magazine that target consumers between the ages of 35 and 55 years old. The new title is going after a younger audience in the range of 25 to 45 years old.

"There's a new emerging wine consumer in their 20s," said Wine Enthusiast Companies chairman/founder Adam Strum about the decision to launch the new magalog.

The company hopes to attract them with a combination of content and product that consists of a basic introduction to wine and a selection of the company's bestselling, more-affordably priced items.

The premiere issue of the magalog was mailed on Oct. 1 to 150,000 names. A second drop on Nov. 1 went to another 150,000 names and a third drop on Dec. 1 will go out to 200,000 names. The mailing list is split evenly between prospects and the company's buyers file.

The 52-page book features articles about how to store, serve and select wine as well as entertaining ideas - the four areas in which consumers "thirst for knowledge about wine," Mr. Strum said.

If the premiere issue of the magalog performs well, the company hopes to repeat it for summer, fall and the holiday season next year. It also hopes to increase its circulation up to as much as 4 million for the year.

The premiere issue also features E. & J. Gallo Winery as its exclusive partner. Gallo purchased eight pages of ads within the magalog, in exchange for which Wine Enthusiast has given Gallo brands prominent placement within its editorial.

"With the cost of paper and production going up, catalogers are looking for partners in orders to set off some of the costs," Mr. Strum said.

Direct marketers that understand that the role of catalogs is promotional, to drive people to make a purchase via the phone, Internet or in a store, will be the ones that succeed, he continued.

The Wine Enthusiast surveyed a portion of the audience that received the first drop and asked them about their impressions of the Gallo brands included inside, all of which experienced a "huge jump" in recognition, Mr. Strum said.

"This is a really viable medium," he said.

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