I asked, you delivered. Some Paper 5 food for thought.
Good article! On DRS, at present BIB / pouch are exempt from the Scotland scheme as there are so many different types of film (that largely look the same) and are / are not recyclable, using very different techniques…
Makes it hard to include in such a scheme and the big saving is in the production / manufacture. Often uses more carbon trying to recycle than it does to make a new one! Waste is separate issue to CO2 emissions of course…
I'd add some nuance to "For most wines, is terroir largely a marketing tactic?" One paragraph should certainly be applied to the idea that "a marketing tactic" is a derogatory term. Marketing is a well-established discipline with suitably qualified practitioners able to achieve Chartered status like accountants and engineers. There are four marketing tactics (Product, Price, Promotion, Place) with some additional ones included on occasion. Terroir is not one of them.
Terroir can be a powerful and important part of Product, particularly the layer known as "actual" product (Core, and Enhanced are additional product layers). Terroir is also a central part of Price - some terroir-led PDO's automatically achieve enhanced pricing. Terroir can also be a central part of Promotion, as it has a powerful resonance with many wine drinkers, for whom it adds value in Integrated Marketing Communications (the modern term for "promotion").
For extra points - and given this is Paper 5 which rewards broader thinking - there is a valuable paragraph on the reasons why some parts of the wine industry view marketing with hauteur and disdain. As Joe Fattorini once remarked (glibly, by his own admission)
"All vine growers are Physiocrats. All winemakers are Marxists. All wine merchants are Capitalists. And all sommeliers belong to the Austrian School. All wines above $100 are Veblen Goods."
This may be Fattorini being too clever for his own good, (again) but it contains truths worth exploring.
Physiocrats - or physiocracy - was an economic theory developed by a group of 18th-century Age of Enlightenment French economists. They believed that the wealth of nations derived solely from the value of "land agriculture" or "land development”. Consequently they believed that agricultural products should be highly priced. And that everyone who handled agricultural products after them was just riding on the coat-tails of their success. This surely describes the world view of many vineyard owners.
The Marxist theory of labour value is simple: the value of a commodity can be objectively measured by the average number of labor hours required to produce that commodity. Winemakers surely take this approach: more hours went into making this wine, therefore it’s worth more. More hours spent in the vineyard, more time spent hand-harvesting, more hours doing pump-overs. That’s why this wine costs more.
Wine merchants are Capitalists. Where a wine comes from, and how much effort went into making it is less important than what the market decides. So wine merchants invest and focus where they can make the most money from the market. Growing successful brands, and killing off less successful ones.
But sommeliers are economists of The Austrian School. The Austrian School of economists believed that economic value is subjective and depends on an individual's preferences and perceptions of utility. They argued that the value of a good or service is determined by its ability to satisfy the consumer's needs and wants.
Let's say you are in a restaurant and you order a bottle of wine. According to the Austrian school, the value of that bottle of wine is not inherent in the wine itself, but rather it is subjective and dependent on your individual preferences and circumstances as a diner. For example, the same bottle of wine may have a different value to different people, depending on factors such as their taste preferences, their budget, and the occasion. Furthermore, the value of the wine is not determined by where it came from, its cost of production or the amount of labour that went into making it. But rather by the satisfaction that it provides to you. If the wine meets your expectations and provides you with pleasure, then it has value to you.
Returning to our question - for the Austrian School Sommelier terroir is an integral part of the marketing mix across several tactics. But to suggest this is in some way a fault in the system is deluded. It also takes a product-oriented world view that is at odds with the more empathetic customer oriented world view that wine should adopt if it is to succeed.