Kangaroos, move over. If McWilliam’s Wine has its way, the first thing Americans think of when they hear “Australia” won’t be ‘roos, but wine.
According to a McWilliam’s-commissioned survey of U.S. consumers, there is considerable room for an educational effort as a whopping 81 percent of Americans first think of kangaroos or The Outback when asked about the land Down Under.
Furthermore, less than 5 percent of survey respondents currently think of winemaking expertise when asked about Australia. And that’s a shame, because Aussie vintners have been making top-quality wines for a long time.
The aforementioned survey also revealed the following perceptions about Australia and U.S. consumer wine preferences:
– Significantly more survey respondents report they generally drink more wine than beer (52 percent vs. 29 percent).
– When asked which single factor is most important in selecting wine, respondents favored taste first (66 percent), followed by price (20 percent), brand familiarity (11 percent), country of origin (2 percent), and wine rating/award status (less than 1 percent).
– While more than half of survey respondents (52 percent) reported they’ve never tried wine from Australia, more people said they’d like to try wine from “Down Under” over wine from any other country (Australia, 65 percent; Chile, 60 percent; Spain, 59 percent; Italy, 58 percent; and France, 55 percent).
– An extraordinarily high number of survey respondents (86 percent) said they did not realize Australia has a longer history of winemaking than the U.S.
– Overwhelmingly, an outdoor porch or veranda was identified as the perfect location to enjoy a glass of wine and share conversations and stories with friends and family (57 percent), followed by dining room/kitchen (16 percent), restaurant/bar or family room (each 14 percent).
Frequent wine drinkers are much more apt to feel that knowing the history of the wine producer or a story about the wine from the winemaker would make a wine more enjoyable than those who are occasional or seldom wine drinkers.
Here in the Vinesse wine cellar, we taste literally thousands of wines each year in search of the relatively small handful of bottlings that will be featured by our clubs. We use surveys such as this one as guideposts, and we share a number of Australian wines with club members over the course of any given year.
We doubt kangaroos will take a back-seat to wine anytime soon when it comes to top-of-mind Down Under awareness, but it’s good to know that more and more people are thinking about Aussie vino.
(Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared under the “Cellar Notes” heading in The Grapevine, official newsletter of Vinesse.)