Your Wine Survey Results are HERE
RESULTS OF THE COUNTRY WINE SURVEY
You can see the results of the survey by clicking HERE. A total of 216 people took the survey.
A quick summary and additional interesting observations are below.
1. QUALITY COUNTRIES
-France, Germany and Italy come in for the highest regard for their wines, with France being named by nearly 60% as producing wines of the highest quality.
-Poor Canada. Only 11% said they produce very good or top quality wines, while nearly 60% ranked their wines of only average or below average quality.
This is unfortunate as I’m inclined to believe this result is only due to Canadian wines being fairly unknowns. Canada hardly has a reputation for making poor wines. What they need is better marketing. Is anyone aware of a well distributed Canadian value ice wine? There’s a niche.
-Spain walks away with the award for most intriguing wines. Nearly 60% said they definitely want to learn more about this country’s wines. Italy is not far behind.
3. BEST VALUE
Ask to choose three countries with the best value, 50% looked to Spain, perhaps explaining why so many wanted to learn more about that country’s wines. No other country really comes close, though Australia, supposedly the "value continent" comes in with 38% naming it as full of value
4. WORST VALUE
Are California wines really this over-priced. Just over 70% of respondents said California provides the worst value wines. It must be an issue of price as respondents put California wines near the top for quality.
I honestly never thought of CA wines being a bad value as it appears most of you do. I look at the price of the very best German and French wines, for instance, and see remarkably high prices. Meanwhile, I never have a problem finding very good $30 California wine, even $20 wines. However, I do believe I am biased.
5. QUALITY EXPECTATIONS
-No country even comes close. 63% of respondents believe that Argentine wines will improve the most a decade from now.
-The other interesting finding, but perhaps predictable since is is already ranked of the highest quality, is that France appears to have no room for improvement.
Argentina, in my estimation, does indeed appear to be a sleeping giant. The wines I’ve tried ave been very good, yet I’ve not tried that many.
6. WHAT YOU BUY
-No surprise here. 70% of respondents said they buy CA wine often or very often. France is not far behind.
-The Value King, Spain, interestingly, is only purchased often or very often by 34%. Australians, who sure do know how to export is bought often or very often by 35% of respondents.
-It’s true. The guys are the geeks. 90% responding to this survey are guys.
-A near perfect curve. Less young-ens. Many middle agers. and only a few oldies
9. TIME DRINKING WINE
-Not surprising. It matches the Age Curve
-It’s nice to inhabit a world where no one considers their knowledge base below average. Or, it could be no one who believes they have something to learn about wine frequents this blog.
REALLY INTERESTING STUFF
-Among those who said CA makes the highest quality wines, 68% said it was the worst value and 90% buy it often or very often. Message: They can’t help themselves
-Looking at responses by women you see virtually no differences in their answers from men
-Those who consider themselves wine experts have a higher regard for French and German wines, are much more likely to find value in French wines, are even more convinced Argentina will be producing much better wines in a decade, drink a lot more French and Austrian wine, and, can you believe it, are 100% male.
-Respondents who are between the age of 21 and 30 are much much more likely to want to learn about French wines, are more fed up with CA wine prices and less fed up about French wine pricing, have MUCH greater faith in the future quality of Chilean wines, are more likely to buy French wine than CA wine, and are somewhat more likely to consider themselves expert or VERY knowledgeable about wine.
-Looking at the Francophiles, those who buy French wines "very often," we find that they are nearly half as likely to call CA "Top Quality", believe French wines are the best values, believe CA offers the worst value to the tune of 84%, are far less likely to buy Australian wines, tend to be younger, and tend to think themselves more knowledgeable about wine than the average respondent.
-Among those who believe Australia provides the best value wines they are much less likely to want to learn about European wines than the average respondent, believe French wines are the worst value by far, buy more New Zealand and CA wine than most respondents, and tend to be younger
I didn’t participate in the survey as I felt I didn’t know enough about wines other than NZ or Australian. I’ve drunk wine from other countries but not enough from different producers to complete the survey fairly. I think Australia has a great selection of good wines, while New Zealand has some good wine. But sshh don’t tell a New Zealander I said that.
I promise…your secret is safe with us here. No one will know.
IMHO you’re making a mistake thinking that Canadian wine always equals icewine. Yes, Inniskillin have done an excellent job marketing their product; almost every duty free shop I’ve seen carries their icewine, complete with Japanese-language packaging. Have you tried it, though? I honestly don’t think it can hold a candle to the real deal from Germany… but I digress.
Most Canadian wine is of course table wine. Up here in Washington state, we almost never see it in the shops, and having tasted Canadian wine on and off up in BC, I’m not surprised. I’ve yet to have a bottle or glass that was anything better than “wow, I’m amazed they could make this at all given the climate.” Even at fancy restaurants in Victoria with elaborate wine lists, I’ve only ever been disappointed. A lot of it is made from marginal grapes to begin with – Ehrenfelser anyone? Perhaps Baco noir? – and much of the rest of it just tastes blah. Sure, they’re doing an OK job with the whole wine country tourism schtick in the Okanagan, but on the whole… it’s just not there yet, and given the climate, I wonder if it will ever be.
Still, where else can you buy pyramid aged wine? That’s right! Not only does pyramid power sharpen razor blades automagically, it makes wine smoother and gives it a better aroma! 😉
YOur point is well taken. I’m just thinking about what kind of wine, marketed well and in full distribution, might draw more people to look north.
A couple of comments on your comment regarding worst value and California wines. You said “I look at the price of the very best German and French wines, for instance, and see remarkably high prices.” I see two problems there. First, the question was about “value” of wine from a region, not “perceived value of the highest priced examples from each region.” An analysis of whether La Tache or Marcassin offers better “value” is not what an enquiry as to the relative “value” of an entire region brings to my mind.
Second, where do you shop for German wines? Producers who most fans would concede are top-tier (J.J. Prum, Donnhoff, Willi Schaeffer, Maximin Grunhaus, etc., etc.) retail in a range from mid-teens to $40 in price, except for particularly limited production bottlings and dessert wine. This is even after the ’01/’03 hoopla, and punishment of the dollar by the Euro.
Finally, as one who dissed Californ-I-A as a value region let me share my rationale. A lot of poor value wine that could be imported is filtered out of the system as people largely don’t bother importing plonk. On the other hand, we are the dumping ground for California plonk, which dilutes any value there might be in the low end (say sub-$12-$15) for me. As for more expensive stuff, California’s general emphasis on purity of fruit, ripeness, and oak, bores me (note “me” – not a value judgment here . . .OK?) to tears. I’ll choose and enjoy a $25 Giacosa Nebbiolo d’Alba over a $50 Napa Cab or a $20 Chevillon Bourgogne over a $50 Merry Edwards single vineyard all day every day.
The Canadian wine industry is very young with the introduction of vitis vinifera less than 20 years ago (in any significant acreage). In the Niagara back east, there is still considerable resistance to pulling out their hybrids. There is a huge learning curve in progress and that includes marketing.
Christopher Pratt’s unfortunate experience with Canadian wine is part of the painful education process. Okanagan wine is a hot item within the province and restaurants that don’t employ knowledgable buyers easily succumb to the lure of some of these cheap wines riding the tailcoats of the better products.
“and much of the rest of it just tastes blah.”
Curious generalization considering BC wines regularily spank the other competitors at international contests.
I’m thinking of Bruce Nicholson’s (Jackson-Triggs)winemaker of the year honors at SF this year.
As for the climate, do the research. The Okanagan Valley has a more moderate and grape friendly environment than many Washington AVAs. And others worldwide.
Looking for bad wine? Sure, we’ve got it. Like every other area in the world. It’s right here next to the champions.
Hey, Tom, you mention that you don’t have a difficult time finding very good California wine at $30 or “even” $20. The problem with that approach is that the majority of wine consumers in American still don’t want to pay $20 or $30 for a bottle of wine, especially if it’s only “very good;” most still want to pay $10 to $15, and that’s where too many producers in California, especially the big producers who want to cover every possible market niche, abdicate responsibility. When you look at, say, Robert Mondavi’s Woodbridge wines or Beringer’s ludicrously named “Founder’s Estate” wines, you’ll find primarily bland generic products that don’t distinquish themselves on any point. No wonder Australia and Spain are mopping up the competition at these levels. Some of these $10 and $12 grenache and tempranillo wines blast California efforts at the same price out of the water. Not that the picture in California is completely dismal at the lower price end; Cline, for example, produces authentic and flavorful syrah and zinfandel at terrific prices.
Your point is well taken. However, I do find wines in the $15 range that excite me and are from CA. You remind me of something else too. This search for the really good 10-20 dollar bottle of wine is a tough one. I’ve always thought this is exactly where the wine critic serves the most valuable purpose. Some of the best lower priced wines I’ve ever come across have been those pointed to by critics like yourself. It’s also why I think the daily paper wine columns are so important. It’s there where these discoveries get the widest circulation.
Hope all is well.
This is an interesting thread, especially the part about CA wines being perceived as relatively expensive. I would agree.
Given the wide array of the world’s wines we have available to us in NYC, usually at very competitive prices, I am put off as much by the cost of CA wines as I am by the oaky/fruity/overripe qualities of so much that I have tasted, to echo what Dave has written.
As to prices, we are daily wines drinkers, don’t have huge amounts of money to spend per bottle, and you’d better believe we search high and low for the “perfect $10 bottle.” OK, we go higher (all the way to $15), but you get the idea.
The world’s awash in good, clean wine that expresses terroir, even at lower price points; but the best bargains of this sort aren’t much to be found in California’s products, IMO. Spain, Italy, NZ, even the France Americans love to bash–are all doing a great job in opening us up to new varieties and tastes. And, ta-da, these wines are VERY food-friendly, something I often find lacking in CA products.
I have to weigh in, too, on Long Island. The wines out there have gotten so much better in the past few years that I can hardly believe what I taste now. And, BTW, the price-quality ratio is damned good. (The whites anyway.) Not too much oak, either.
Sorry to go on and on. I’m just pissed I missed the surveys!
After spending last weekend in BC, I need to amend my earlier comment. I don’t know why, but I had much better luck this time around: for once, I came across a Canadian wine that was very, very good [a Jackson-Triggs meritage] and that I’d gladly buy again. Best of all, it looks like it’s available at the local supermarket here in Washington state, which rocks. Dave’s right; there IS top quality wine there… it’s just that it’s kinda hard to figure out how to get some. Now, if only I could find a good Okanagan riesling, I’d be in pig heaven.
Your Wine Survey Results are HERE
[Source: FERMENTATIONS: The Daily Wine Blog] quoted: The problem with that approach is that the majority of wine consumers in American still don’t want to pay $20 or $30 for a bottle of wine, especially if it’s only “very good;” most still want to pay …
Living in Spain, it was great to see interest of Spanish wines and perception of value so highly rated. The fact that only 34% of respondents buy Spanish wine “often” or “very often” means there’s a disconnect between the interest level and value perception and the buying decision.
Is it a problem of language barriers, promotional efforts, marketing execution or something else?
Whatever the cause, there is a definite need for Spanish wineries and their distributors to do more to capitalize on the good image.
Wine Survey at FERMENTATIONS
Make sure to check out this survey at the wine blog FERMENTATIONS. Not only is it informative, but it also really opened my eyes to the perspective people have about Spanish wines. Of the 216 people took the survey, you can be sure that every singl…