This article focuses on how market analysis professionals aim to materially and symbolically shape a product like wine. More specifically, I deal with the case of the strategy for marketing Portuguese wines in British and North American markets, outlined by an international multinational consulting firm in 2004. In a market defined by uncertainty, market experts’ strategies to turn Portuguese wine into a more effective commodity demanded an adjustment in light of the dominant tendencies that support the wine industry. Before tradition, method, taste, and place, the market should dictate what kind of wines the Portuguese ought to produce. This aim involved a number of articulated levels of specialization and expertise, from the production phase to the symbolic representation that seeks to influence the experience of taste. This imaginary established a dialogue with the lifestyles and social aspirations of selected target markets. At the same time, these promotional efforts are tools that interfere with consumers’ perceptions of space, society, and history, as they propose categories that are used to understand and represent the world.
The Market as Mediator: The Corporate Creation of Portuguese Wine
Nuno Domingos is a research fellow at the Institute of Social Sciences of the University of Lisbon and a research associate at the SOAS Food Studies Centre, University of London. He edited, with Harry G. West and José Manuel Sobral, Food between the Country and the City: Ethnographies of a Changing Global Foodscape (Bloomsbury, 2014).
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Nuno Domingos; The Market as Mediator: The Corporate Creation of Portuguese Wine. Gastronomica 1 August 2016; 16 (3): 31–43. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/gfc.2016.16.3.31
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