retail news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe

Here at MNB, we talk a lot about the importance of stories, and how a compelling narrative can help a product differentiate itself in the marketplace.

Well, this morning's New York Times has a story about a product with a really, really great story.

It is about a wine called marawi, made in Israel from indigenous grapes. And it is the outgrowth of an effort that utilizes DNA testing "to identify - and recreate - ancient wines drunk by the likes of King David and Jesus Christ."

"For Israeli winemakers," the Times writes, "the search for old-new varietals is an opportunity to distinguish their wares in a competitive global marketplace where they harbor little hope of improving on, say, chardonnay from France. Archaeologists and geneticists are testing new methods for analyzing charred ancient seeds. In the endless struggle between Israelis and Palestinians, it is a quest to underscore Jewish roots in the holy land."

While the making of the wine is not free from political debate - some Palestinians question the provenance of the grapes - perhaps the most important quality of marawi is that it seems to taste good; one critic calls it “pleasant and easy-to-drink,” and says it “opens slightly in the glass with gentle aromas of apple and peach.”

In other words, it is a pretty good wine, even without the story. But it is the story that may, in the end, make it transcendent.

It is an Eye Opener.
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