It’s officially California Wine Month Eve, and what to my wondering eyes should appear but a coupon for Sterling Vintner’s Collection wine! Yes, a hard copy, get-out-your-kitchen-shears-and-clip-it coupon for Sterling — $3.00 off the purchase of two 750 ml bottles — was in Sunday’s edition of the San Francisco Chronicle, sharing the same bifold as coupons for Seventh Generation diapers and Air Wick Scented Oils. (No, I didn’t make that last part up.)
When was the last time I saw a wine coupon in the paper? Maybe….never? Liquor coupons, yes. Particularly in the last six months or so, but not wine. Not until now. This discovery comes on the eve of California Wine Month and just a few days after Sterling’s parent company, Diageo, issued a statement saying 2010 will be a challenging year for business. I don’t disagree with that, but will a $3.00 off coupon really help matters, or simply further erode the aspirational image of one of California’s most recognizable wine brands?