First major women and wine survey overturns perceptions

  • Thursday 2 April 2009

The first comprehensive survey of women's attitudes toward wine has overturned several perceptions.

Over 4,000 women in the UK, France, Japan, Germany and the US responded to a survey commissioned by Vinexpo, revealing a preference for red wine and skepticism for marketing campaigns that target them specifically.

Local polls were conducted on magazine websites in each country, including decanter.com and livingetc.com in the UK.

Among the more surprising results were that women prefer red wine to both white and rosé, and consider wine compatible with a balanced diet.

'The image we had of Japanese and American women, especially, was that they prefer white wine. It was a surprise that this is not true,' said Robert Beynat, chief executive of Vinexpo.

He was particularly pleased with the response of 79% of women who said they drink wine because they like the taste – as opposed to its compatibility with food or fashion status, calling it 'extraordinary'.

Of the 1300 UK-based respondents, 80% choose the wine for their household, with price as the main criterion, followed by varietal and country of origin; and 54% said they were undeterred by government warnings.

'Bang goes the stereotype that women in the UK go for light, white wine,' said Decanter publishing director Sarah Kemp, who presented the results with Sara Norrman, managing editor of Livingetc, the UK's leading model homes magazine.

'But probably the most interesting result was that they aren't influenced by government health warnings. Clearly the "sledgehammer" approach doesn’t work.'

Consultant and presenter Angela Mount said other results – notably that women continue to be more price-led than brand- or quality-led - were worrisome, with only 10% choosing wine over £9.99 a bottle.

'The UK is a nation of promotion junkies,' she said.

'I’ve stood in the supermarket aisle, watching women take wine off the shelf, and if you ask "what did you buy", they say "I don’t know, whatever's on offer".'

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