Wine shows can give exhibitors more than medals

Maame Blay, Anthony Saliba, William Hardie, Bernard Carr, Hildegarde Heymann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Some Australian wine businesses have known the benefit of using a consumer led product developmentapproach to wine making for some years. Consumer preference mapping is one technique that helpswine makers understand which sensory attributes drive consumer preferences. Although the benefits ofsuch an approach are well known (Costa and Jongen, 2006), the cost involved in consumer preferencetesting (Resurreccion, 1998) which is the underlying method of a preference mapping technique meansthat not all wine businesses can afford to incorporate this method into their production process. InAustralia a unique opportunity to make consumer preference testing readily available to wine makerspresents itself in the form of the consumer public tasting days associated with wine shows; for brevitywe'll call them 'public tastings' and 'wine shows' will refer to the whole show event including the expertjudging. The history of Australian wine shows has been documented (Dunphy and Lockshin, 1998b), andthe two important roles of these events is appreciated within the wine industry; first they provide aforum to educate wine makers on technical trends in wine making to improve quality and second, themedals awarded to outstanding wines play a marketing role (Dunphy and Lockshin, 1998a). Medalledwines are thus believed to have higher saleability in competitive wine markets. The public tasting eventshowever, are not well understood within the wine industry and not much is known about their purpose.Some wine show organisers consider these events a good way to utilise excess wines after the judgingevent while others consider it a good way to educate wine consumers and to promote wines fromparticular regions. We suggest that public tasting events could become an important avenue to providewine exhibitors with useful information about consumers' wine preferences and we have been exploringsuitable methods to obtain that information.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)70-73
Number of pages4
JournalWine and Viticulture Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2012


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