Results of The First JamesTheWineGuy Sparkling Wine Survey – James Melendez

First, thank you to all of those people who participated.  I realised in my writing that it was important to do a survey on wine.  I want more of my writing to not just always be based on the anecdotal only.

I could think of no better topic than sparkling wine to start with a survey.  There were things I wondered about in sparkling wine–what sparkling wine was top of mind, price points people paid, types liked, etc.

Being a wine writer, judge, educator and videographer and also being a paid professional as a wine marketing manager at a multi store chain retailer in the past.  I have had a burning platform to know more about the behaviour of wine consumption which ultimately does inform my writing and video creation.

I like the analytical part of things… wine included.  I have said that wine is the most complex of all consumer categories.  Easy to enjoy wine but it is oh so amazingly complex.

The First JamesTheWineGuy Sparkling Wine Survey had a response rate of 64 people.

I did limit the number of questions to fewer than 10 (because of Survey Monkey level).  I also acknowledge some characteristics that I did not include and as a Lessons Learned will be incorporated in 2018 survey:

  • Allow for multiple of answers per question
  • Did not Query for respondent background:
    • Geography
    • Relationship to wine media/trade if any
    • And a few more characteristics to determine more of preferences by background
  • Ask specifics about sparkling wine bottle purchasing

More items of note:

  • This was an anonymous survey–some people I know notified when they responded but I cannot tie any response to anyone specific person
  • I would like to have had more responses but ALL survey’s are hard to get a large number of responses; I suspect the next Sparkling Wine Survey will continue to gain more responses
  • I do not take the survey myself.  I don’t want to skew any results regardless of how large or small of total responses

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I had responses from all 64 respondents in all questions except the last question which was an open ended comments section.  I have designed many surveys in my career and I have never had 100% of all questions answered by respondents (minus the opened ended question #10).

Here are the results:

1. Your go to Sparkling wine today regardless of price?
Cava 9.38% 6
Champagne 40.63% 26
Prosecco 12.50% 8
Other Old World Sparkling Wine 10.94% 7
New World Sparkling Wine 26.56% 17

Analysis:  I was surprised Champagne did not rank higher if price were not an issue.  While Champagne had the largest percentage response I would have expected this to have a higher percentage say in the 50-60 or even higher percentage rate.  I do suspect with a larger pool that number would likely increase.

I am surprised the New World Sparkling Wines had a strong response of nearly 27%.  Perhaps most of the respondents were from the New World and felt a stronger tie than to Champagne.  Next survey I am going to ask is where respondents are from/residing which might help to interpret future surveys a bit more accurately.

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2. How often do you enjoy sparkling wine?
Weekly 34.38% 22
Monthly 34.38% 22
Quarterly 17.19% 11
Less than quarterly 14.06% 9

Analysis: I see these numbers as very encouraging.  When I was in an off premise business as wine marketing manager number I knew that sparkling wine were acquired for mainly celebratory reasons.  Easy to know as the unit penetration was predictable and disheartening – disheartening because this wine category was only a celebratory wine in terms of consumer behaviour year over year.

This tells me that over three quarters of respondents enjoy sparkling wines much more frequently between weekly and monthly.  I am delighted to see one third of respondents enjoying this weekly.  I think this is showing that sparkling wine has moved away from just being celebratory or special event wine but a wine that is enjoyed continuously through the year.  Very good to see this wine category normalise in terms of consumption.  And, of course, question #3 confirms in no uncertain terms that sparkling wine is a wine to enjoy just because.

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3 How do you view sparkling wine?
A wine for special occasions only 3.13% 2
A celebratory wine 12.50% 8
A wine for all occasions 78.13% 50

Analysis:

Sparkling wine as “a wine for all occasions” is an over all confidence and specifically feeling confident of food wine pairing.  Yes, Champagne as, an example, is amazing with caviar and triple cream but the wine and it’s many styles is versatile and has such a wide capability of food-wine pairings.  Other sparkling wine types of course can do the same.  Also the rigid view of food-wine pairings has liberalised.  Also sparkling wines are certainly a role model for wines that are so challenged in a corner by only being for certain occasions.  Madeira, Port, Sauternes, Sherry, and Tokaji to name a few wines that are often only thought as dessert or aperitif wines but can add more than just a top or bottom of the menu wines.

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4. My favourite Champagne type
Brut 34.38% 22
Blanc de Blancs 18.75% 12
Blanc de Noirs 29.69% 19
Rosé 14.06% 9
Prestige 3.13% 2

Analysis:   I expected a higher a higher Rosé (as still Rosé is so popular now) than was shows at a 14% preference as compared to Brut at 34%.  I was also surprised that the prestige bottle category was not higher than 3%.  I wonder if this were to vary if the sample was higher?  Also, seeing Blanc de Noirs at a 30% rate was much higher than I would have expected.

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5. My favourite Champagne dosage (sweetness level)
Extra Brut 15.63% 10
Brut 67.19% 43
Extra Dry 7.81% 5
Sec 6.25% 4
Demi-sec 3.13% 2
Doux 0 0

Analysis:  Brut hands down is the favourite at two thirds response rate.  I should have added Brut Nature though I would full expect this to be in a very minority position.   Brut is the most plentiful in off and on premise establishments and perhaps people consume primarily what is easily available?  Not everyone like me goes to a sparkling wine merchant for very specific sparkling wines.

The question of dryer styles coming into vogue?  I personally adore Extra Brut and Brut Nature but I do not think this will grow significantly in the future

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6. I drink these old world sparkling wines
Prosecco 37.50% 24
Franciacorta 15.63% 10
Sekt 4.69% 3
Sparkling wines from France (other than Chamapgne) 31.25% 20
Other Italian Sparkling (other than Prosecco or Franciacorta) 4.69% 3
None 6.25% 4

Analysis:   In the next addition Cava has to be added in this question.  I do believe it would be on the same level as Prosecco.  Sparkling wines from France (0ther than Champagne) are quite popular at 31%.  I think there is a question that is needed such as sparkling wines form other European countries: Germany, Hungary, Greece, the UK and other wine countries.

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7. I drink new world sparkling wines
California 54.69% 35
Oregon 4.69% 3
New Mexico 12.50% 8
Canada 10.94% 7
Argentina 1.56% 1
Chile 1.56% 1
New Zealand 3.13% 2
Australia 0.00% 0
None 10.94% 7

Analysis: No surprise that California has over 55% respondents who drink these wines.   The next biggest entry is New Mexico with 12.5% which represents one brand Gruet – there is no other regions producer in the new or old world that has that distinction in this survey.   I am surprised by the 11% response rate for “none” meaning that respondents didn’t drink new world sparkling.

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8. On average I spend the following for sparkling wines in USD
$10-25 43.75% 28
$25-50 43.75% 28
$50-100 12.50% 8
$100 and above 0

Analysis: I was surprised to see the prices of $10-25 and $25-50 categories were even at 43.75% each in terms of what people are paying.  While the entire population could buy their wines in the $10-25 range there is something driving to a higher price pointed wine.  Perhaps it could be that respondents are buying more reserve or prestige wines and even wine club purchases driving that price point of $25-$50.  But when I think of total survey responses especially as it relates interest in Brut Champagne the price point are generally in the $30-50 range; basically the purchases are most like Brut Champagne and higher end California sparkling wines which are in this price range.

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9. I drink sparkling wines as compared to a year ago
More this year 2017 than last year or previous years 28.13% 18
I am drinking about the same as last year 64.06% 41
I am drinking less than last year 5

Analysis:  While this is a good question to ask–it does need to be asked with how many bottles did they buy in a year – a case?  The 28% response rate is certainly healthy and I suspect if the sampling of the survey was larger the number would decrease but not substantially — my guess is there were 500 responses this number might decrease to 15-20%.  But this would still represent a growing market for sparkling wine.  Most events I attend today have a glass of sparkling wine offered.  Also, the number of sparkling wines available on a wine-by-the- glass list is growing–a decade ago I would not have seen 3-4 different sparkling wines by the glass on a wine list in San Francisco.  This represents a demand for sparkling wine because if there was no demand this would be a select of 1-2 wines.

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The open ended comments were important to make me aware or to remind me of items that I forgot or didn’t include–all very helpful comments.

  • Washington sparkling wines was mentioned by two different people as missing as a survey response
  • One respondent noted that their dislike of Champagne wines had held them back from tasting other sparkling wines
  • A very interesting comment from another respondent mentioned that since sparkling wine is so plentiful both in terms of regions and price point it is easy to find a bottle to enjoy often (buying more sparkling wines).

This survey is a good first step to understanding what wines people are selecting based on region, style, price, and numerous preferences.  Based on responses I do know my next survey will not be just 10 questions and my belief in continuous improvement will yield a better understanding consumer thoughts, perspectives and behaviours as it relates to sparkling wines.

If you participated–I greatly appreciate it!  And I appreciate you reading this article.  At the end of this please let me know any thoughts, comments, questions or perspectives that you might have on this subject and survey.

Thank you and Santé,

James

James the Wine Guy

Demystifying Wine…One Bottle at a Time from all wine regions around the world.

© 2017 James Melendez / James the Wine Guy— All Rights Reserved – for my original Content, drawings, art work, logo, brand name, rating, rating graphic and award and designs of James the Wine GuyJames the Wine Guy also on Facebook, Twitter and most major social medias.

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About James Melendez

I love wine and have had the privilege of working in the wine trade as a senior national wine marketing manager for a wine, food and home goods retailer in 30+ US States. I executed into making wine experiential and made 'wines of the world' programme work in a highly regulated framework for a successful business proposition. My "wine" site also incorporates those categories intimately involved with wine such as food, travel and lifestyle. This site incorporates my many dimensions of interest. I love to review and also talk about many aspects of wine. I have been privileged to visit many wine countries and find them enthralling no matter how many times I visit. I love all aspects of wine: viticulture, history, winemaking, brand development, wine regions and many more aspects. This is a living tradition that needs documentation, education, reporting and reviewing. Do I have favourite varieties and styles? I love so many varieties and often it is situational and yet there are time honoured wines that I anticipate and I am passionate about. I like all colours of wine and all styles. I have had a mad passionate affair with sparkling wines and they are always top of mind. Wine nourishes our soul and is the key to connecting with other people at our dinner table. Salute, James © 2014, 2017 James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy— All Rights Reserved – for my original Content, logo, brand name, rating, rating graphic and award and designs of James the Wine Guy. James the Wine Guy also on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and other social medias.
This entry was posted in Cava, Champagne, Sparkling, Survey. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Results of The First JamesTheWineGuy Sparkling Wine Survey – James Melendez

  1. Becky Ellis says:

    Reblogged this on BubblyBEE.net and commented:
    Encouraging results from James the Wine Guy Sparkling Wine Survey…we are drinking more bubbles these days instead of waiting for a celebration to pop the cork. Cheers!

  2. Great survey and analyses! Just curious–who were your respondents? Other wine writers? “Lay” drinkers?

    • Thank you TDC – I did mention in my article that it is my goal to ask that question next year. I also want to make sure the sampling size is larger. I also need to find a survey provider that is more reasonably priced. Free Survey Monkey caps 10 questions or fewer.

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