Scorn, cynicism mark 7-Eleven wine debut
I’ve been surprised by the public’s flipoff of last week’s news that 7-Eleven is now selling a $4 “value” wine, Yosemite Roads.
The launch was covered on blogs and online publications. I went through a bunch of them to read the comments, and frankly was baffled by the derision and downright anger expressed by people who took the time to write in.
From “Daily Finance,” an AOL site:
-7-Eleven WINE??? I just might vomit into my morning coffee…
-i wouldn’t drink it if it was free.
-A fine bottle of chablis, vintage 45 min ago. bleeah !
-Are the sales of Thunderbird and Manischewitz falling that low.
-this is an entirely different kind of gross from Thunderbird and Manischewitz.
The Chicago Sun-Times headlined Wash down a Slim Jim with a ‘full-bodied’ 7-Eleven wine
From the Huffington Post’s blog:
-Convenience store wine….mmmmmm.
-Watch out Boonesfarm. You’ve got competition.
-can I get that in a Big Gulp?
-Get out’a here. You made that up.
From the Dallas Observor blog:
-Id prefer Five Buck Chuck from Trader Joes as a drinking/cooking wine than 7-11′s wine flavored malt beverage any day!
-MMM MMM, It’ll get ya drunk!!!!!
-I think that;s useless…nobodys gonna buy it!
-W.T.F is next? Ronald McDonald Wineries – the McPinot – perfectly paired with Big Mac’s secret sauce.
Even the Ridge (winery) blog made this more erudite dig:
-I am speechless. Or, to borrow an exquisite colloquialism I picked up in Ireland, I am rather gob-smacked. I don’t know what to say…I have to go lie down now.
[this is Steve again] How to interpret this reaction? Partly it’s just plain old humor, of course — blog readers having a little fun, and 7-Eleven is an easy target. But there’s something else going on, on a deeper, more disturbing level, and that is the overt patronization of the [perceived] kind of people who frequent (and work at) 7-Eleven.
For contained in many of these comments is a not-so-subtle disdain of blue collar workers, immigrants, people of color and poor folk who (in the conventional wisdom) shop at 7-Eleven. Scan the comments again and the starkness of class-based antagonism comes out:
- the references to getting drunk, as if people who buy wine at a “nice” wine shop do so to daintily sip, while anybody who would buy wine at 7-Eleven has to be a lush.
- the assumption that the wine has to be bad because 7-Eleven shoppers have no taste. Do you think any of the commentors actually tasted the wine before pronouncing it awful? I doubt it.
- the downright anger. Vomit…wouldn’t drink it if it were free…gross. What’s that all about?
Personally, I think it’s great that 7-Eleven is selling wine. We — the wine community — are always wishing that wine were more mainstream in America. Well, 7-Eleven is as mainstream as you can get. For me, the lesson in all this is that wine lovers should avoid the snobbery of viewing inexpensive wine as garbage fit only for the dregs of society. (The food equivalent of this is that “our” kind of people shop at gourmet markets while “those” people shop at convenience stores.) That’s not only wrong, it’s anti-American. 7-Eleven deserves a big pat on the back for bringing Yosemite Roads to the masses.