Consumer wine preferences are not well understood. Anecdotally it is believed that preferences evolve over time, from sweet whites to full-bodied reds, as consumers become more experienced and familiar with wine. However, little is known about the change in wine preference or confidence
[...] Read more.
Consumer wine preferences are not well understood. Anecdotally it is believed that preferences evolve over time, from sweet whites to full-bodied reds, as consumers become more experienced and familiar with wine. However, little is known about the change in wine preference or confidence with education and training. This research explored changes in consumers’ hedonic and confidence ratings for five commercial British Columbian (BC) wines (Ehrenfelser, Chardonnay, rosé, Pinot noir, Cabernet-Merlot) over a 12-week education/training period. Consumers (n
= 133) completed a wine survey and evaluated the wines during the first and twelfth week of a university wine course, consisting of wine education and sensory training. Consumers provided hedonic (degree-of-liking) and confidence (degree-of-sureness) ratings for the visual, aroma and flavor characteristics of the wines, on 9-point and 5-point scales, respectively, before and after the 12-week wine course. Consumers were classified by gender (female, male), age and ethnicity. Kruskal Wallis, Mann-Whitney, Friedman, Wilcoxon Signed Rank and Chi-square tests and Spearman correlation coefficients were used to explore the effects of education/training on hedonic and confidence ratings. In general, consumers’ hedonic (visual, aroma, flavor) ratings increased significantly with education/training for the white and rosé wines (Ehrenfelser, Chardonnay, rosé) over the 12-week period. In contrast, consumer confidence increased substantially for all wine types. Surveys revealed, for the three largest subgroups of consumers (North American (NA), n
= 38; European (EU), n
= 31; Asian, n
= 54), that NA and EU consumers had significantly higher frequency-of-purchase, frequency-of-purchase of Canadian wine, frequency-of-consumption and self-rated wine knowledge than Asian consumers. However, Asian consumers were willing to pay more for a bottle of wine compared to NA and EU consumers. This research provided insight into the millennial consumers and explored the nature and magnitude of changes in hedonic and confidence ratings with wine education/training.