SUN ONLINE, AUGUST 30, 2019
COVERAGE FOR WSET
GRAPE BRITAIN: Brits know very little about wine despite drinking 22m bottles a week as a nation, study finds
AS A nation we now drink a staggering 22.1 million bottles of wine a week, but new research suggests we actually know very little about what we are drinking.
According to the data, as many as a third choose a bottle of wine based solely on whether they like the label, while a further one in ten have purchased a bottle because they think the name sounds sophisticated.
And when it comes to terminology, thirty percent of those polled thought that “terroir” was a genre of French horror film, while 28 percent opted for a breed of small dog.
In fact, only 34 percent knew the right answer, that “terroir” refers to the ground in which grapevines are planted.
The French dessert wine, Sauternes was similarly baffling to Brits, with seven percent thinking it was a planet in the solar system, one in five believing it was a French beach resort and 29 percent believing it was a type of orange.
37 percent believe the term “corked” means that some of the cork is broken while as many as seven percent believed it referred to someone being plastered, as opposed to it meaning, simply that the wine has reacted to the cork.
The survey of 2,000 Brits was commissioned by the Wine & Spirit Education Trust to mark the launch of their upcoming global Wine Education Week, from 9th – 15th September.
Despite the blunders, the survey found almost one in ten Brits say they have a “good knowledge” of wine and 12 percent say they “know their way round a wine list”.
A more honest 13 percent say they can talk a good game but actually know very little, meanwhile a quarter of us confess to knowing “absolutely nothing” about it.
Over a quarter of people admit they have bought an expensive wine to show off to family or friends.
Ian Harris, CEO of the Wine & Spirit Education Trust, which commissioned the study said: “With a whole world of wine out there to discover, it’s hardly surprising that there are gaps in the nation’s knowledge, or that the prospect of learning more might feel intimidating.
“It’s encouraging, though, to see that so many Britons are keen to gain more knowledge about one of their favourite drinks – and Wine Education Week is the perfect time to do just that.”
We certainly know what we like as 34 percent of us gave as the top reason for choosing a wine was because we’d drunk it before (34 percent), after that a third choose based on the label, while 32 percent take friends’ recommendations.
When it comes to serving wine with food, only 28 percent of people have successfully tried to “pair” a wine with food, to get the best flavours out of both. 17 percent have attempted it but say it was a dismal failure, while 55 percent admit they wouldn’t know where to begin to get the right choices.
And with over half of us wanting to know more about wine, it’s clear there are some barriers. 34 percent say they simply don’t know where to start, 28 percent think it is too complicated while 17 percent have been traumatised by snooty wine waiters.
The research also discovered that surprisingly rose is officially Britain’s most favoured colour, picked by 36 percent of the 1,500 respondents, beating white wine (35 percent) and red wine (27 percent).
Regionally, Norwich was the oenophile capital of the UK, with 16 percent of people saying they know a lot about wine, beating London (14 percent) and a huge amount more than the wine novices of Edinburgh (2 percent).
Interestingly men are much more likely to find the whole topic too large and intimidating (34 percent), compared to 28 percent of women.
And though women were more likely to get the questions about terminology right, men were twice (12 percent) as likely as women (6 percent) to claim a good knowledge of wine