Tuesday, April 30, 2013

French are clueless about buying wine

THE average French shopper takes one minute and 26 seconds to choose a bottle of wine from a supermarket shelf. Is this ability to take swift decisions about wine an example of French savoir-vivre? No, it isn’t. The average French supermarket shopper knows nothing about wine and feels lost in the wine aisle. Why do shoppers learn nothing about wine when supermarkets stock about 1,200 different bottles to choose from? Shoppers keep buying such forgettable wines because nothing is learned from drinking them. Choosing wine by the marketing mix (price, packaging, promotion) is no substitute for using wine knowledge to inform choices.

Full article first published in The Connexion (May, 2013)

Monday, April 1, 2013

Gold medals have lost their glitter

HOW can a gold medal-winning wine from one competition end up without any award in another competition? Astonishingly, the likelihood of receiving a gold medal in a wine competition can be statistically explained by chance alone. A wine’s performance in one competition is also not correlated with its performance in another, say researchers. Wine judges' inconsistency and lack of peer concordance devalue medals. However, competitions are a 'win/no lose' proposition for winemakers because nobody comments on wines that do not win. Consumers appropriately remain unimpressed by the medals tombola.

Full article first published in The Connexion (April, 2013)