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Why the cork makes wine sell in USA

Why the cork makes wine sell in USA

Over half of the wine sold in the USA is chosen quickly, without too much expertise, in food stores and if it has cork it is preferred

cork-screw cap-other closure effect

by Donatella Cinelli Colombini

How does the US consumer choose wine? In the world’s largest market, 70% of wine purchases take place without the help of specialist staff. About half of the wine is sold in grocery stores. This percentage would rise to 70% if it were not for a dozen states, the marketing of alcohol is separate from that of food. For example in New York City the wonderful eataly shop had to build a separate area to sell Barolo, Chianti and grappa.



the sound of cork

In the USA wine in bottle represents 90% of the total while that in can or in brik is a marginal part.
Most customers choose quickly and without great skills. For this reason, the purchasing decision is oriented, in a decisive way, by the visible characteristics of the wine such as the price or the closing.


This last one influences the expectations on the quality and price of the wine and therefore has an important impact on the choice of the bottle to buy especially when the wine is of medium-low level.
The natural cork is associated with the idea of a quality wine and therefore encourages the purchase. The presence of the cork instead of the synthetic cap or screw caps has a direct effect on the price. In fact the consumer is willing to pay 8% more for bottles closed with cork and this percentage rises as the price range falls.

An analysis, published a while back in Wine Economics, comes from the studies of Anton Bekkerman and Gary W. Brester of the Department of Agricultural Economics and Economics, Montana State University.
It’s more a confirmation than a discovery, in fact the mental association between the cork stopper and the quality/value of the wine is demonstrated also by investigations such as that of Vincenzo Russo of the IULM of Milan who showed that the only noise of the extraction of the cork creates, in consumers, a higher expectation of wine quality.