‘Choices Define Us’: Do they?

For the past thirty years I have been lecturing and teaching Wine. At one time in the past I drew a flow diagram that followed the wine making process. It begins with the soil and ends up in the glass at our table. Wine making cannot exist by looking at the cellar alone! The biggest word I used on this (overly colourful!) diagram was ‘OPTIONS‘. At every stage in the wine making process, my argument went, a Choice Needs to be Made.

Irrigate or not?: Fertilise or not: organic or not: How long to allow the grapes to hang before harvesting; prefer cold satiblisation?; ferment temp?: wild yeast or cultured?: blend or single varietal?: Stainless steel, concrete, oak?: age before release?; time of the year for shipping? ……. Options, Options… Choices Define the Wine.

Listen back to our fabulous podcast with winemaker Beth Liston at Dark Horse. She tells us how choices has at times led her to coferment white with red grapes. Love it!

This week CENTRA launched a new campaign titled ‘Choices Define Us‘. Its underpinned by some quality independent and indepth research into ‘a deeper understanding of the choices people are making in Ireland in this period of revaluation, forced by the pandemic which revealed that 1 in 2 Irish people (46%) feel their daily choices have the power to impact positively on society‘. To be fair. 46% is a big number!

With 481 locally owned stores across Ireland Centra is in the business of understanding. It’s not just about selling us more ‘stuff’ but about selling us more of what we want to buy. Someone in retail has to make a choice so that we can make one of our own. Sometimes this goes wrong and we are left with no choice because everything in front of us is just a variation on a theme.

Patrick Horgan, Ursula Walsh, Paul Ryder and JP McMahon pictured at the launch of Centra’s new campaign Choices Define Us. Dr. Maureen Gaffney was joined by a panel of cultural experts to discuss key trends identified by research conducted by Behaviour & Attitudes on how choices are impacting society today and the future of tomorrow. Picture Andres Poveda

Wine is a big offender here and wine buyers are no exception! For years we have been showered with a race to the bottom where Price dominated our Choice. We were led to the trough by over eager wine buyers chasing volume. Minimum Unit Pricing has been a sort of a Road to Damascus in this regard!! More on that in a later blog. Suffice to say for now that the very same wine buyers are promoting lower alcohol wines and large percentage discounts off better wines. Choices have been made/encouraged. Always have and always will. The unintended consequences for the wine sector from MUP are fascinating. All good for the consumer.

Back to Centra. Ray Kelly, Marketing Director, Centra said “This is a defining time in our lives where people are making more considered choices than ever. At Centra we take great care to understand what choices people are making and the impact that those choices will have on how people live, work, and eat so we can continue to adapt and evolve our retail offers and experiences to meet the needs of communities across Ireland.”

Dr. Maureen Gaffney, leading psychologist, and author said “This research shows that people are pondering on the value of what they are doing: Am I making the right choices about how I live and how I work? It is important to better understand the nature and importance of choice” and continued with, “Although people value choice, they are aware that too much choice makes the process of decision making too difficult.

Great insight and hopefully ideas that will continue through the campaign from findings on Society, Sustainability, Community, the Affects of the Pandemic, and Working from Home. Each will play their part in how Centra bring us its ‘Choices Define Us‘ campaign. Love it.