Coravin and Exploding Wine Bottles…

Guillaume Jourdan Vitabella Wine

“Boom, literally ….” or “The Coravin issue, genuine concern? I wouldnt want exploding bottle in my bar that’s for sure..” These are just a few messages posted this morning on social media.

The reason? A message sent by Coravin to customers and that said: “It has come to our attention that, in certain circumstances, wine bottles can burst when used with the Coravin system, presenting a risk of lacerations”. Indeed, Coravin – that allows wine lovers to drink a glass of wine without opening the bottle – has had to issue a safety notice after seven complaints of bottles bursting.

Bottles bursting? We have already seen that in the past when some Champagne houses had to face the problem of exploding wine bottles. But all that remained in the secrets of the cellar and had little echo among the general public. Why? Simply because the general public was not concerned. The Coravin case is far more annoying because this device is made for wine consumers: the risk that such a problem occurs during your dinner is far more alarming. The Coravin system is brilliant as I already wrote it here a few months ago. But such a crisis is probably one of the hardest communication issue to manage, as their impact often puts the organization at risk of “image deterioration”.

The expertise of VitaBella Luxury Wine in crisis communication allows us to work each year with new clients who call us in an emergency and for one purpose : to establish a strategic and operational plan to manage the immediate problem they face.

Do you remember the traces of benzene found in Perrier bottles in 1990: it had a long-term negative impact on the sales of the carbonated water and its image has been severely damaged. The procedure of global product recall, in fact inaugurated by Perrier at that time, is currently frequently used by companies in similar situations. Another recent example: the crisis of Renault’s electronic cruise controls which put some customers off the road. In this case, the product was so innovative and complex that it required a learning to use it that was not always obvious for consumers. How to explain to your customers that they do not understand how to use your product ? At the time, this has led the company to rethink the handover of their cars, and Renault is now recognized for its excellence in terms of customers service, especially when the car is delivered.

Coravin faces a crisis communication during its launch phase, which is a major challenge for the company. In the immediate future, although there are only a few cases, it has decided to stop selling and shipping its products and advised customers not to use Coravin until a solution was found.

(*Since 2003, Guillaume Jourdan has been advising more than 200 prestigious wine estates for their international communication strategy incl. Chapoutier, Hugel, Dr Loosen, Famille Perrin, Cos d’Estournel, Brad Pitt & Angelina Jolie’s Miraval…Write to Guillaume