A semiotic square so as to understand what rapport you have with wine. The choice is between radical, enosnob, Pane al pane (call spade a spade) and socialite
Read for you by Donatella Cinelli Colombini
With Vinitaly all sorts of surveys arrive but this one is really intriguing. The Istituto Squadrati di Milano has created for the Cantina Bosco Viticoltori, a “Quadrato semiotico” or rather a schematic diagram which permits us to give wine lovers a profile.
This scheme has 4 corners, the different wine lovers are:
– RADICAL: those who put genuine products in front of everything else
– ENOSNOB: for those who consider only high quality wines
– PANE AL PANE (call a spade a spade): those who consume daily
– SOCIALITE (lovers of social occasions): wine is part of the movida and they like spending time with others.
Along the square sides there are 4 referring concepts in contrast with each other: sacred and profane, nature and culture, and on the inside of the scheme there are indicated 23 commonplaces which correspond to the deep rooted convictions in each group of consumers. Following their logics it is easy to understand to which quarter of the square one belongs.
If for you wine complements social occasions but it is also something to be taken seriously and practically to be studied, you will be among the
“Socialites” so the “mundanes” with a cultural approach. You are among the consumers who read guide books, give importance to ratings given by great wine critics, but who also take part in events such as Cantine aperte (these are my preferred) and to the Novello presentations. On the other side the wine –radicals with more attention towards nature, these are those who want the list of additives on the label,
they see in a wine the message from the grape grower and not that of the wine maker and they perceive the presence of sulphites as something very negative.
In the end what seems like a game, in fact reveals itself to be a very serious analytical instrument able to underline deep motives which justify certain wine buying and consuming behaviour
Extraordinarily talented people have discussed this subject such as Oscar Farinetti, patron of Eataly, Fabio Piccoli from Wine Meridian and Andrea Gori the sommelier wine blogger. The real receivers of the semiotic square though are obviously the wine producers, who can use it to understand to which group of consumers their wine is best matched. So the small grape grower who aspires to reach high quality but believes more in science than in tradition,
must address the
eno-snob while those who produce with simplicity a genuine wine will have to keep away from “enofighetti” the coolest, and will go straight towards the “pane al pane” (call a spade a spade) maybe putting on sale a bag in box version of their excellent wine to be sold in the winery.
I like the wine lovers semiotic square and I hope that many producers will use it giving even more substance to their communication because the number of brochures and the web sites with similar information is really impressive.