Understanding consumer preferences for Australian sparkling wine vs. French champagne
journal contributionposted on 28.02.2018, 00:00 by J Culbert, N Verdonk, R Ristic, S Olarte Mantilla, M Lane, K Pearce, Daniel Cozzolino, K Wilkinson
Sparkling wine represents a small but significant proportion of the Australian wine industry’s total production. Yet, Australia remains a significant importer of French Champagne. This study investigated consumer preferences for Australian sparkling wine vs. French Champagne and any compositional and/or sensorial bases for these preferences. A range of French and Australian sparkling wines were analyzed by MIR spectroscopy to determine if sparkling wines could be differentiated according to country of origin. A subset of wines, comprising two French Champagnes, a French sparkling wine and three Australian sparkling wines, were selected for (i) descriptive analysis to characterize their sensory profiles and (ii) acceptance tests to determine consumer liking (n = 95 Australian wine consumers). Significant differences were observed between liking scores; on average, the $70 French Champagne was liked least and the $12 Australian sparkling wine liked most, but segmentation (based on individual liking scores) identified clusters comprising consumers with distinct wine preferences. Interestingly, when consumers were shown wine bottle labels, they considered French wines to be more expensive than Australian wines, demonstrating a clear country of origin influence.