10,500 women responded to an internet survey* of wine preferences and drinking habits.
Contrary to expectations, just over half of respondents (51.1%) expressed a preference for red wine. Just 26.4% said they prefer white. For women over 46 years old, 58% preferred red. Only 15.7% said they prefer rosé, however that’s 160% more than in 2009 when just 6% of women expressed a preference for rosé.
69.7% of respondents associated wine with conviviality, preferring to drink wine in the evening with friends – that’s 10% more than in 2009. For 28.6% of women, drinking wine is part of an “art de vivre” – curiously, for American women, the figure jumps to 71.5%.
Contrary to expectations, price is the third consideration, behind origin and grape variety. 62.3% of respondents said they choose a wine for its origin – for women over 40, the figure increases, while 18-30 year olds report a greater sensitivity to price. 48.9% of respondents said they choose a wine for its grape variety – though for American women, grape variety is the most important criteria.
66.6% of respondents reported an association between wine and romantic encounters. That figure is higher in countries with a strong wine heritage. Such encounters appear to be egalitarian in terms of wine knowledge: 58% of women consider themselves as well-informed as their male counterparts – for American women, the figure is 67%.
Winemakers are adapting wine styles and packaging to attract female customers: there are today more sweeter and sparkling wines available, with more “feminine” designs on wine labels. Such labels often overlook the element of origin; however, French wine labels, with their emphasis on “terroir”, continue to convince.
* Published in the Midi Libre (June 2011)