Citing a Natural Brand Extension, Saveur Launches a Wine Club
The Bonnier-owned gourmet magazine aims to connect with its readers on and off the printed page.
Saveur wants to be your new sommelier.
The Bonnier-owned food, wine, and travel magazine announced its entry into the membership club game with the launch of "Saveur Selects," a curated, globally-sourced wine club in partnership with California-based winery and importer Terravant Wine Company.
For $74.99 per shipment, members will receive four bottles of wine selected by Saveur's editors, six times per year. Far more than simply an additional revenue stream to bolster the brand's bottom line, however, the wine club is seen as a natural fit for Saveur and an added touchpoint for the brand that aims to position itself as an authority on taste.
"To be honest, it’s really just another way to connect with our audience," Gregory Gatto, VP and publishing director for the Bonnier Lifestyle Group, tells Folio:. "We know from our research that they’re really interested in this."
Forging new connections with readers off the printed page (or smartphone) is imperative, says Gatto, who emphasizes the vital role of editorial curation in the selections — giving members the same sense of discovery provided by Saveur's content and pushing them to step outside of their comfort zones. Each shipment will include tasting notes, recipe pairings, and, most importantly, stories around the people, culture, and history from which each bottle is sourced.
"It’s not just about the trendy thing right now, but the people, the place the culture," says Gatto. "Our coverage of wine is also like that. People really like the discovery aspect of our coverage. We want to find these little cult gems that are out there."
Only a few weeks in, it's too early to tell the extent to which Saveur's audience will embrace "Saveur Selects," but Gatto is optimistic that the club's competetive price point will provide a large enough tent for the brand's mostly affluent, Gen-Y audience.
"Our audience certainly appreciates wine, but I don’t feel like we are crushed by pretension," Gatto continues. "Obviously, in the club, these wines are discounted. We didn’t want to make it out of reach for everybody. We’re going to be pushing people to try something new. It might be something outside of their comfort zone, and I think people are less likely to do that if its cost prohibitive."
While other publishers may offer wine clubs at varying price points or with higher frequency, Saveur's offering is intended to leverage the knowledge of its editors — and Terravant's experts around the globe — who already aim not only to discover, but to tell stories about compelling cuisines and the cultures behind them as part of their day-to-day jobs. A major feature in Saveur's October/November issue, for example, reveals the origins of the world's oldest known winery, a 6,100-year-old site discovered in an Armenian cave in 2007.
New members can receive the first shipment, two bottles each of a 2014 Petite Sirah from the foothills of the Sierra Nevada and a 2015 Gewüerztraminer from Washington, up until the second shipment is released in November.