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Reading In To The Rosemount Estate Survey

By Alex Russell on July 31, 2014 in Food

Photo: Alexander Payne

Photo: Alexander Payne

Last year, 1029 people filled in an online survey, commissioned by Rosemount Estate. Participants came from all over Australia. It was a wide-ranging survey and I only have so much space to work with here, but I’ll cover what I can.

Classes of Drinkers

One of the more interesting questions in the survey asked people to classify themselves into categories.

According to the survey, ‘Adventurers’ are those who are happy to try anything, as half the fun is trying out new wines (40% of respondents), ‘Connoisseurs’ like to know exactly what they are drinking and where it’s from (16% of respondents), ‘Entertainers’ are people who don’t get out so much and tend to have people around, so wine is something they share with their friends (15% of respondents), and ‘Socialites’ use wine as a social thing, but tend to do so on a good night out (13% of respondents). Those who are ‘Easily Pleased’ don’t care about labels – they just stick to what they know (11% of respondents), and, finally, those who are ‘traditionalists’ aren’t into new wines – they have to be well-established and well-known labels (4% of respondents).

Of course, you might belong to more than one category, but which would you say applies to you most? Was anyone else surprised that there wasn’t a ‘wine wanker’ category in there?

The Wine Rules

A lot of people think that there’s a certain snobbery to wine. And sure, there can be. There are all of these ‘rules’ about which wines go with which foods (e.g. red wine and fish usually don’t get served together).

Did you know, for example, that you’re supposed to hold a wine glass by its stem? This is because your hands are warm and they change the temperature of the wine. Despite this, 82% of Australians admitted to holding a wine glass the wrong way, at least occasionally, and about 65% of people don’t always serve reds at room temperature (particularly the Queenslanders, but that’s probably fair enough as it’s pretty hot up there). There are plenty of other ‘etiquette breaches’ too.

Naturally, those wine traditionalists would be so aghast at this behaviour they might drop their monocles. I mean, you can’t take us Australians anywhere, can you? But does it really matter? Do these breaches of etiquette make a difference?

Some breaches are sort of important – e.g. the temperature at which a wine is served does have an impact on the flavour (pro tip – if you don’t like a wine, chill it – you’ll taste less). In the end though, the survey tells us what we might have guessed: we Aussies do stuff our way. Besides, it’s our bottle of wine and we can bloody well do what we want with it.

What Sells?

Cabernet and Shiraz are the big sellers in the reds, with about 50% of the adult population preferring one of them (and it’s pretty evenly split betweewn the two). Add in Merlot, along with blends involving Shiraz and Cabernet, and you’ve covered another 38% of the population. Fortunately, only 8% of people prefer Pinots, which leaves more of them for me.

In the whites, it’s Sauv Blanc (26%) and Chardonnay (21%) leading the way, while SSB and Riesling each pick up 14%. I’m very glad to see Riesling picking up such a big chunk – good stuff Australia!

If you want me to write a bit more about this survey, let me know on Twitter (@ozwineguy). There’s also info on matching wines with cuisines, cuisine preference, price and various other bits and bobs.