Majority of Brits prefer cheap wine

13th November, 2013 by Lucy Shaw

The majority of British consumers favour cheap wine over an expensive equivalent, according to a study carried out by the London Wine Academy.

As reported in the Daily Mail, eight out of ten people in a blind taste test conducted by the academy preferred a bottle of wine costing £5.99 to a £19.99 example made from the same grape.

Six in ten meanwhile, thought the £5.99 wine was the more expensive of the two.

Data was gathered from over 20,000 wine enthusiasts attending courses at the academy. Courses begin with a blind tasting of two wines made from Chardonnay in different price brackets.

Attendees are asked to rate the wines on taste and guess the price of each.

The results found that 80% of those who took part preferred the taste of Aspen Hills Chardonnay from South East Australia, which costs £5.99 at Majestic, putting it ahead of Gerard Thomas Saint-Aubin 1er Cru from Burgundy, which costs £19.99 at Majestic.

Leta Bester, founder of the London Wine Academy, believes the Aspen Hills Chardonnay came out on top as amateur wine tasters equate smoothness to quality.

“Initially, our students prefer the simplicity of less expensive wines. But as their understanding and sense of taste grow they tend to gravitate to pricier wines that display more complexity,” she said.

“Wine tasting is about developing the lines of communication between your nose, tongue and brain and in novice tasters these lines are relatively underdeveloped,” she added.

5 Responses to “Majority of Brits prefer cheap wine”

  1. Arthur Warrington says:

    What utter tosh from Leta Bester. This kind of drivel is why the wine trade in the UK is in the mess it is in. Referring to people who don’t sit around drinking wine all day for a living as “novices” is patronising and degrading. The implication is that people who like Aspen Hills are somehow ‘wrong’ and need ‘correcting’ – presumably by paying to attend a course at the LWA! The people who should be worried about this article are not the “novices” but the producers of expensive Burgundy that clearly cannot defend its premium pricing when people don’t know what it is. Oh yes, and the people who make it their business to look down on the non wine snobs who happen to support the majority of jobs in the industry.

  2. Alex Hunt says:

    The bigger problem is to draw general conclusions like this from one pair of wines. Even a more specific conclusion like “Majority of Brits prefer cheap Australian Chardonnay to white burgundy” would be a stretch without several different wines of each type being tasted. Despite the large number of people polled, the result is completely insignificant due to the tiny number of wines involved.

  3. Daniel Studley says:

    So the suggestion that people in the trade “sit around drinking wine all day for a living” isn’t patronising and degrading? When the average price of a bottle of wine in the UK is close to £5 it doesn’t seem unreasonable to me to suggest these results are influenced by familiarity.

  4. There’s nothing really surprising about this. Most wine enthusiasts started out buying cheap wines.
    The big misconception is that a more expensive wine will taste “better” to everybody. That’s clearly not going to happen.

    However, I’m sure I could find a £10 Chardonnay which 80% of those people would have preferred to the Aspen Hills. It’s not like all £20 wine tastes one way and all £5 wine tastes another.

    The anti-snob brigade will love this headline though.

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