A Product Manager Buys Wine

Have you ever wondered why the wine store is organized by country? 

I have too. It literally makes no sense.


No one walks into the wine store thinking 'I just need a bottle of French wine! All I want to see are French wines!' (Perhaps a few die-hard French wine fanatics walk into the wine store with this attitude, but it's probably an edge case.)

Most people enter the wine store looking for: 

  • A bottle of any decent red wine for under $10
  • A dry rosé or sparkling for that summer barbecue
  • A spicy, full-bodied red with a price tag around $50 - $100 that will impress new friends at a dinner party where steak is being served

Most people define the bottle of wine they want by:

  • Price
  • Variety
  • Pairing with a specific food

My 3-Step Wine Store Re-org MVP:

  • Incorporate a $10 and (at least) 90 Points section of the store.
  • Dedicate a few shelves that suggest wines by event. This is a no-brainer. If I'm short on time, and I see a sign telling me 'This wine is best for a wedding shower' - guess what I'm going to pick up?
  • Organize the remaining wines by variety, rather than by country.

My Wine Store Roadmap:

  • iPad stations where the user can enter what's for dinner and get a list of suggestions organized by price point.
  • Rotating seasonal features. i.e. we know poeple want Rosé in the summer. Many wine stores already do this.
  • For neighborhood wine stores, reduce the number of different varieties offered. There's no need to have 20 different bottles of New Zealand Pinot Grigio with a $12 price point. This just leads to decision paralysis. Offer 3-5 different options. Offering more options than that gives no real additional value to the user.
This dinner could use some wine.

This dinner could use some wine.