Is Cupcake the next Yellow Tail?

A report about a list called Top 30 Momentum Table Wine Brands caught my attention yesterday.  Wines & Vines ran the story on the Symphony IRI Group study, which ranks the wines with the most increase in sales in 2010 that consumers buy in places such as grocery and drug stores.

Cupcake Vineyards, a relatively new wine brand, rose to the top of the 2010 chart.  It’s owned by The Wine Group and boasts a winery in California’s Monterey County.  You’ve probably seen it in your grocery store’s wine aisle.  Expect to see more of it.

I don’t usually write posts about wine sales data, but I happened to be in Costco yesterday, and there were several cases of 2009 Cupcake Chardonnay stacked high.  This wine was fresh on my mind from the Wines & Vines article.  At $7.99 I thought why not try it.

Well just one sip reminded me why I don’t drink a lot of Chardonnay, especially inexpensive Chards.  Cupcake is a big oak and butter bomb, and those flavors dominate over any other flavors advertised on the back label.  It was pretty much undrinkable too.  Had to dump what remained in my glass, and the rest of the bottle.  I immediately thought of Yellow Tail.  The comparison is pretty easy.  Yellow Tail is an easy name, and so is Cupcake.  Cupcakes are a huge food trend.  It’s not intimidating.  Everyone loves cupcakes.  Have we just moved from the era of the critter label to the sweet tooth label era? Perhaps. (Layer Cake Shiraz anyone?)  One thing is for sure, a wine’s name and label are as important as ever.


This table lists the top 30 wine brands with momentum:


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