In answer to the question “who drinks the wine the men or the women?” 90% replied “men” in Japan 42% of the respondents answered “women”.
This was one of the many great surprises we found in the survey that Vinexpo (2009) the largest wine fair in the world, provided in order to illustrate profiles of our current wine consumers across the world. The results identified 3 types of wine consumer: the ‘epicurean’, the ‘modern’ and the individual who is ‘free of complexes’.
The wine consumer classified as the ‘The Epicurean’ drinks at least one glass of wine a week without feeling embarrassed. She considers wine as being a qualifying component of her lifestyle and she improves her knowledge of the wine and the quality of her consumption with the passing years.
The ‘Modena’ chooses above all red wines; she is guided by personal taste rather than by current wine fashions.
The ‘Free from complexes’ consumer decides on her wine based on the price,
the wine region of origin and the grape variety. She buys wine in specialist wine shops, supermarkets and only occasionally by using the internet. The strong element that emerges in this survey, as in all subsequent investigations, is the female choice autonomy, indeed hardly any of the wine gurus and wine guides seem to have noticed this or focused on this information, instead they seem to concentrate on the male wine consumption figures.
Continuing to examine the studies of the wine lovers, here are the profiles divided by nationality, prepare for some interesting results. The U.S. wine consumers are career women with incomes around $ 75,000 and are approximately 35 years of age. They prefer the Italian reds and consume more wine than the men even though they give much more thought to their spending. In fact the price of the wine is the second element of choice in the US figures after the grape variety and above the production area and the colour in
the ranking of importance when making a choice of wine (Vinexpo 2009). For them wine is an alternative to beer and spirits. An alternative that they much prefer, which is a preferred accompaniment for food and one which gives better health benefits than other alcoholic beverages. In fact the consumption of wine is linked to mealtimes with friends and family, conviviality and times for relaxation.
Women buy the vast majority of wine which is consumed at home. This percentage approaches 80% in Great Britain where the choice of the type of wine is strongly influenced by the price.
This is perhaps the most discriminating factor between the behaviour of the purchasers and the consumers of wine amongst all the different nationalities. For the British the cost of the wine is the most important factor, for the Americans, as we have seen, the most important element is the type of vine, but the French put more emphasis on the geography of where the wine was produced.
There is perhaps an element of convergence on the colour of the favourite
wines: red. Contrary to most expectations and assumptions, 51% of women prefer red wines (Vinexpo 2011). Indeed, the preference for the robust red wine aged in wooden barrels seem to go hand in hand with increased winemaking knowledge. Amongst wine connoisseurs women are currently a minority but it is precisely this segment that is drinking the red. Whilst some of the more elderly ladies continue to enjoy the white wines, it is evident that the recent success of rosé has been triggered by a greater female appreciation for the taste of this type of wine than by the male palate.
I close with a glimpse at India ( AM Mindpower Solution New Delhi) where wine consumers are anticipated to number 7 million by 2015 and where the women have been leading the increase in wine consumption over the last five years. The growth of the bottles drunk by ladies was 28.7% while the men increased by 17.3%. Perhaps the drinking of wine is a status activity which contributes an additional factor of equality in a country where the distance between the genders is still very strong.
Seen for you by Donatella Cinelli Colombini – A female wine specialist
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