Brazilian Wine Drinkers Choose Price, Varietal Over Cork
To cork or not to cork?
That was the question posed by a team of researchers from the Federal University of Pampa's (Brazil) Oenology Department who published their results this fall. When asked directly whether the type of bottle seal influenced their decision about which wine to purchase, about 14 percent of the 70 wine consumers surveyed for the study said they made a purchase based on whether or not the wine was corked.
“Despite corks being linked with the culture of wine drinking, there exists a significant percentage of consumers that are more interested in purchasing wines of the desired varietal and with attractive prices than with a certain type of seal,” the study said.
The researchers used a questionnaire with “nine objective questions” which were given to 70 fine-wine consumers in the Campanha Gaucha region of southern Brazil where fine wines are prevalent.
The questions covered family income, number of bottles purchased for personal consumption, the factors which led them to choose a bottle of wine, knowledge of the different types of bottle seals and the consumers’ opinion of screw caps, corks and other seals.
“When asked about the type of sealing used in the bottles, 85.71 percent reported they were indifferent to the type of seal at the time of purchase, while 14.29 percent of consumers reported that they only bought wines sealed with cork stoppers or similar,” the study said.
Researchers also recorded participants' responses to questions about what factors enticed them to buy a bottle of wine.
They discovered that when it came time to make a purchase, 38 percent of consumers said the type of wine varietal was the main factor in their choice.
According to the study, one of every five consumers said price was the main factor in their decision.
Nine out of the 70 respondents said that brand was the main influencer in their decision, while other combinations of factors accounted for about 29 percent of the decisions.
The study also explored the consumers' perspectives on when corks should be used to seal wines and when screw caps should be used to seal wines.
Nearly seven out of 10 respondents said they believed both old and young wines should be corked, while about two out of 10 respondents said only old wines should be corked.
When asked which wines should be sealed with a screw cap, half of respondents said they were indifferent while 45 percent of them said only young wines should be sealed with a screw cap.