Wine descriptions provoke emotional response, study finds

CONSUMERS are much more influenced by wine label descriptions than previously thought.

Research by the University of Adelaide has shown wine descriptions can alter consumer emotions, increase how much they like a wine and encourage them to pay more for a bottle.

The study has been published in the journal Food Research International.

“Choosing the right wine at the point of sale whether in a wine store, in a restaurant or online can be a difficult task,” project leader Associate Professor Sue Bastian said.

“The importance of wine labels and label information has been widely studied and it’s been clearly shown that they represent useful information which influences consumer choice.

“Our study extends these findings, showing that wine descriptions also influence our whole wine consumption experience.”

The researchers found “cleverly written” wine and producer descriptions can evoke more positive emotions.

The study was conducted with Australian white wines and 126 regular white wine consumers.

The consumers evaluated the same set of three commercially available white wines — chardonnay, riesling and sauvignon blanc — under three information levels.

The levels were a blind tasting with no information, a tasting with a basic sensory description, and another with an elaborate/emotional description.

The presentation of more elaborate wine descriptions, which included information regarding winery history and positive wine quality statements, significantly increased the preference rating the consumers allocated to the wines.

Postdoctoral research fellow and first author on the study Lukas Danner said these findings had important implications for wine producers and the hospitality industry in that descriptions required more than just wine tasting notes.

 “Companies could even consider involving consumers in label description optimisation,” Dr Danner said.

“This research was funded by Australian grapegrowers and winemakers through Wine Australia with matching funds from the Australian Government.”

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