Objective measures of Australian sparkling wine style and quality

Summary

Objectives

To identify the chemical and sensory drivers of consumer preference for Australian sparkling wine styles.

Background

Sparkling wine represents a small but significant proportion of the Australian wine industry’s total production, yet surprisingly, little research has been undertaken to determine Australian consumers’ preferences for the array of sparkling wine styles produced, or to investigate the potential appeal of individual sparkling wine styles to new or emerging markets.

The Australian wine industry seeks to capture a greater proportion of existing and emerging sparkling wine markets, for financial gain. To achieve this, winemakers and wine marketers need to better understand the relative importance of different styles of Australian sparkling wine, at commercial, premium and luxury price points, and the target markets for each of these wine segments. Sparkling wine producers would benefit from identification of markers by which wine style and quality can be determined, so that wine styles can be tailored to meet consumer needs and expectations.

Research approach

The plan is to segment the market by sales, characterise the style by quantitative sensory analysis with trained panellists, select a subset for consumer preference work, undertake chemical analysis on the wines and then use multivariate statistics to identify chemical markers for drivers of liking.

Industry benefit

The knowledge generated in this project on consumers’ preferences for sparkling wine will enable Australian wine producers to tailor wine styles to better meet the needs and expectations of their target market.

 

The knowledge generated on links between wine composition and consumer preference will allow key markers of preference and quality for these wines to be identified and tools to objectively measure quality to be developed.