Mar 212016
 

Real Estate vs. Wine

This weekend I started reading the real estate section of the San Francisco Chronicle, just for giggles. Normally I can’t be bothered, and I certainly don’t have the kind of money that allows me to peruse the ads for million dollar homes.

But what I found was pretty interesting. There were scores and scores of descriptions of properties for sale—just like in the wine business. In fact, the whole real estate section reminded me of a wine magazine, with a few feature articles, and then endless listings of “tasting notes” of houses for sale

Only in this case, all the descriptions were perfectly intelligible. No effort to show the reader how clever the writer was, nor use of obscure or overly inflated language or descriptors. Just plain old words talking about houses. None of the houses was painted in the delicate colors of a charentais melon, or had gardens infused with the blossoms of stone roses. The dining room floors were not described as having notes of polished rare Allier oak, nor did the carpets capture nuances of zin-berries and cassis.

I couldn’t help thinking that if you can sell a house for $1M with simple words, why can’t you sell an $23 bottle of wine that way? Wineries should take note when publishing their own tasting notes.

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