SURVEY RESULTS: Wine Reviews are…OK

The results of the FERMENTATIONS’ "How do you like your Wine Reviews" Survey are in. We had 99 respondents. The results below are rounded off. Thank you to EVERYONE who took this survey!!

1. How often is it that a wine review is the main reason you purchase a wine you’ve never tried before?

Almost always    3%

Often    31%

Occasionally    48%

Rarely    15%

Never    3%

Clearly reviews play a role in my readership’s wine buying decisions, but it’s not a decisive role, is it.

2. Where are you most likely to read wine reviews?

Wine Magazines like "The Wine Spectator" or "Wine Enthusiast" 
Wine Newsletters like "The Wine Advocate" or "The California Grapevine 
Newspaper Wine Columns 

In grocery stores on those little "Shelf talkers" under the wine 
On Wine Blogs 

On Internet Wine forums 
I guess it should be no surprise that more than 40% of respondents report they get their reviews somewhere on the Internet. What’s interesting to me as a marketer is the small number reporting that shelf talkers play a role in where you see reviews.

3. What do you consider the most trustworthy and objective wine reviews?

Wine Magazines that take advertising 
Reviews at Wine Magazines that don’t take advertising 
Reviews in newspaper wine columns   12%
Reviews on Wine Blogs   38%
Reviews on Internet Wine Forums   18%

This question should have come with a "And explain why" caveat. Why is it that Blogs are considered the most trustworthy and objective among 38%. I suspect it has something to do with the perceived intent of wine blog reviewers.

4. What do you consider the least trustworthy and objective wine reviews?

Wine Magazines that take advertising 
Reviews at Wine Magazines that don’t take advertising 
Reviews in newspaper wine columns 
Reviews on Wine Blogs   9%
Reviews on Internet Wine Forums   10%
I guess this makes sense…67% finding advertising-supported magazines the least trustworthy and objective. My experience is that there is no support for the underlying suspicion.

5. Which rating system do you prefer to accompany a wine review?

The "A – F" rating system 
The 4 star/glasses/puffs rating system 
The 100 Point rating system 
The 20 point rating system 
No rating at all 
The big surprise to me is that 21% know what the 20 point rating system is. Only one wine publication I know of still uses this system, originally dubbed the "Davis" System. No surprise about the 43%.

6. For you, what is the most informative part of a wine review?

Description of the aromas and flavors 
Notes that suggest foods that will go with the wine 
Indication of how well the wine will age and when to drink it 
Information in the review about the producer and vineyards 
The accompanying rating 
Yea…I guess this is why we read reviews. I would have chosen "information about the producer." I want context in my review. I want to know why the wine tastes like it tastes, what the producers is going for, who they are, etc.

7. What is your gender?


No Surprise. But what do we have to do to attract the ladies to FERMENTATIONS?

8. What is your age?

21 – 30 
31 – 40 
41 – 50 
51 – 60 
61 or older 
This is a pretty good spread. We know that blog readers tend to be a younger group. But dedicated wine drinkers tend to be an older group. This equal the readership out I think.

9. How long have you been drinking wine?

1 – 5 years 
6 – 10 years 
11 – 15 years 
16 – 20 years 
21 – 30 years 
More than 30 years 
Another good spread…I’m glad

10. How much wine do you drink?

A few times a week 
Once a week 
FERMENTATIONS’ readers are drinkers aren’t they!!. Who said "rarely".

You can get these same results with graphs and bells and whistles by clicking HERE

Posted In: FermSurvey


One Response

  1. Ryan Scott - May 25, 2005

    1. I think people also go to wine tastings and even just take the advice of others on their purchases.
    2,3. People trust others’ suggestions in making their own decision. That’s one of the reasons I think my wine reviews will maybe grow popular.
    4. Hard to trust that 90 point $10 wine that you just saw advertised 3 times huh?
    5. This one surprised me, what’s the difference between 84 and 85 points? I could almost translate the A-F system, but the finer points would be hard for me to discern from week to week.
    6. Definitely what I expected. I may not like buttery Chardonnay and may give it a C, but someone who likes that style could read the sensory part of my review and want to buy it.
    7. I think more men are reading blogs right now, I have been blogging for over 6 months and my wife hasn’t read any of them yet.
    8. Seems close to the breakdown at the tastings I go to.
    9. Right on given the age breakdown.
    10. I’m glad so many drink daily, but I hope they stay with 2 to 3, anymore and it starts having detrimental effects. I made business cards with 10 reasons you should drink wine everyday, and I plan on putting that on merchandise too. Until then visit my health benefits of wine posting.

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