Rob Moshein - The Austin Wine Guy

Caymus Wins the 1st ever AWG MORON OF THE YEAR AWARD FOR 2010!

March 20, 2010

Back on December 30, yr mst hmble & obdt srvt here wrote a blog called "What do you see in this picture?" about the new world order of the wine business where the customer does not want to pay high dollar for over priced wines any longer. That story has taken such an ridiculous turn, it begged to blogged about, and now updated again on March 23...

Now, the grocery store in question, where the 25 case floor stack of Caymus Napa Cabernet Sauvignon was on sale for $55 was Central Market by HEB. They are a major upscale grocery retailer with a large wine selection and a major wine retailer in the state. It seems Caymus gave the ok to lower the WHOLESALE price of their wine, BUT did not want retail to pass the savings to the customer! Yes that's right kiddies, they want YOU their customer to still shell out $70 per bottle even though they lowered the wholesale cost!

So what did Caymus do when they found out Central Market was trying to sell the wine at $55 instead of $70? Check it: they pulled every bottle of every Caymus product out of Central Market; Cab, Zin, Conundrum, Mer et Soleil, etc etc. Now, they seem to have missed the part that Central Market was having a tough enough time selling the wine at $55. Those 25 cases were still there after two months....

Caymus, you really do miss the entire point of what is happening in the market: Restaurants aren't selling it at $150-200 anymore...That's why sales are so bad plus NOBODY WANTS TO SPEND EVEN $70 FOR YOUR CABERNET ANYMORE CAYMUS. Are you listening? Don't you get that? Are you seriously that stupid?? Seriously. The world has shifted and you are missing the life boat.

Not only that, in a market where Caymus was having a tough time SELLING THEIR WINE ALREADY what does Caymus do in it's infinite wisdom?, they pull their products from sale from one of the largest and most prestigous wine retailers in the State of Texas! Talk about cutting off ones nose to spite ones face.
Let's look at this again, objectively: Caymus can't sell its wine, so they cut the wholesale price. Then they REFUSE to allow retail to pass that savings along to the customer and demand the customer continue to pay top dollar, EXCEPT THE CUSTOMER ALREADY ISN'T BUYING THE WINE AT TOP DOLLAR. When a retailer TRIES to pass the savings on to their customers to actually SELL MORE WINE, Caymus pulls their product from sale, thus decreasing their market presence and over all sales at the exact time when their sales are already WEAK. Not only that, customers will be told exactly WHY they can't buy Caymus at Central Market anymore.

Added March 23: A person I know in the wine business tried to defend this idiocy by calling it "brand integrity". "Brand integrity" means nothing more than the quality of the wine is consistent, and your brand is recognized as having INTEGRITY. What Caymus did was nothing more than "Price Point Management". They want to hold on to the price point they "believe" they still command and nothing more. Do they not realize that every single time a customer now walks into Central Market and asks for ANY Caymus product, that customer will be TOLD exactly WHAT Caymus did and WHY they do not want Central Market to carry their product. Will this HELP their brand image? Will this build INTEGRITY in the minds of those customers? Of course not. So just WHO is Caymus hurting? Not Central Market I can assure you.

Congratulations Caymus, only three months into the new year and you show the most out of touch with reality, idiotic, and generally stupid mind set I have seen in the wine market in years.You are a dinosaur in the wine business. You deserve to become extinct.
I will quote what I said years ago to Sonoma Cutrer: "I hope you drown in your wine. You deserve it."

Customers, I STRONGLY URGE YOU TO SEND CAYMUS A MESSAGE BY CHOOSING SOMEONE ELSE'S WINE. Do you believe a winery that wants to continue to rip you off in a down market when times are bad deserves your hard earned wine dollar? I think not, just my personal humble opinion of course.

Rob Moshein
Austin Wine Guy

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