I was just struck by how elegantly and simply those few words got such an important and fundamental point across.
But there are other "decommodification" techniques that don't work so well. The same thing that gives you that great apple goodness is the reason we're all suffering with DRM, vendor lock-in, and senseless incompatibility. These are all just variants on the same theme: don't make things simple for the consumer, force them to "choose" you over your competitors.
On the whole, I'd rather live in a world of commodities than brands, honestly.
Of course you would! Commodification is good for the consumer, not the producer.
Anyone can buy branding and in among commodities, that is the only hope. Identity and quality, however, must be built in.
Just because there are a lot of choices does not mean it's a commodity. My guess is that the author just doesn't understand wine and saw some numbers.
Consider a commodity like steel. To most people, steel is steel. You can use steel from any supplier in any project that requires it. But to some people, particularly engineers and material scientists in very specific applications, the different makes of steel become more important.
So one person's commodity may be another person's brand. I think the point of the article is to encourage producers to work to shift the trend towards brand, to their advantage.
Wine producers have been shiting toward brand since their inception. Again, I don't think the author understands the wine industry at all.
So what I'm saying is, what looks like a commodity in one market may not actually be one in another market.