Posted on | November 18, 2015
Written by | W.R. Tish
Bronco Wine Company’s Blanc de Bleu has special appeal for the wedding market.
It is a rare wine indeed that commands attention even before its label can be read. Blanc de Bleu is one of those wines. Its brilliant gemstone hue, while shocking to purists, is magnetic for many. Echoing the blue hue on the palate, the bubbly has just a “kiss” of natural blueberry flavor, leading Blanc de Bleu* to quickly win many fans among fun-loving wine drinkers.
Interestingly, this blue sparkler holds special appeal for a very particular demographic: brides-to-be. Recognizing this, Bronco Wine Company, national marketer of Blanc de Bleu, brought the bride-lovable bubbly to two high-profile wedding trade shows this fall—and learned even more about its unique charm.
The National Bridal Market, held in Chicago at the end of September, drew budding brides and professional wedding planners from all over the Midwest (and beyond). Bob Nicols, Bronco’s Division Manager for seven states, noted that reactions were immediate and positive. “The planners were definitely taken by the look,” recalls Nicols. “The color is beautiful, and it’s perfect for weddings.”
Consider the longstanding tradition that brides wear “something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue” on their wedding day for good luck. Of course, planners say the trend nowadays is to interpret traditions creatively. Highlighting Blanc de Bleu’s visual impact, the planners saw displays—both of bottles chilling in tubs and trays of blue-filled flutes—as being ideal for receptions.
Interest in Blanc de Bleu was only reinforced when guests at the trade shows tried the bubbly. “Many people expect it to be sweet,” Fred Wieczerzak, Bronco’s Division Manager for NY, NJ, PA, DE, MD and DC, explains. “They may hesitate. But when they try it they are really surprised.” Samples poured before a runway fashion show at the New York Bridal Show, held at Pier 94 in October, were a huge hit.
Naturally, Bronco exhibited at the bridal shows to capture the attention of wedding stakeholders—couples, planners, venue managers…. But as Christine Dorgan, Bronco’s Key Account Manager in Chicago, notes, the brand is so young that selling points are still being discovered.
Bob Nicols points out that the 187ml bottles struck some planners as creative gifts or favors for the wedding party, guests, even vendors. Others envisioned them at bachelor/bachelorette parties, dress fitting sessions and pre-nuptial showers. At the same time, he adds that the 187s (released earlier this year) have already proven their worth as impulse retail buys, or offered as a “split” on-premise.
All things considered, Blanc de Bleu’s novelty is operating on two levels. Most immediately, it’s a fun bubbly for the not-so-serious wine drinker. But to truly maximize Blanc de Bleu’s sales potential, it definitely pays to position it, through signage and suggestions, as adding sparkle to wedding celebrations. With so many of today’s wedding traditions open to interpretation, why shouldn’t the bubbly get in on the fun?
*Blanc de Bleu is classified as “sparkling grape wines with natural flavors and certified color.”*