When you pick a wine up of a shelf at the store, or when you are at a winery doing a tasting, do you read the label to see where that wine is coming from? Does it matter? Should it at all?
For me if I enjoy a wine I want to know as much about it as possible, starting with where it came from, who made it and the steps they took to make the wine in that style. In essence I want to dive into the terroir to try and find out what makes a wine tick the way it does.
Something that made me very happy to see was that wine labels were getting more recognizable. Not so much because of branding but because of the appellation. A study was conducted in Sonoma County regarding conjunctive wine labeling. What this means is that not only a major AVA was listed but also a sub-AVA. An example of just a major AVA would be Sonoma County or Napa Valley. In listing the sub-AVA you would still have that broader location on the label but beneath it you would also have Russian River Valley or Stags Leap.
What the study found was that labels utilizing both the broader AVA and the sub-AVA help increase overall awareness of the viticultural area as a whole1. From 2008 to 2016 each sub-AVA that was utilized showed an increase in overall consumer awareness. Now you as a wine geek are probably going “duh” this is awesome to see when it comes to the US as a whole. You have to remember that the vast majority of the wine consumed in this country is consumed by a very small percentage of the population. If you really want to geek out you can click here to check out the methodology of the study.
My inner sociologist LOVES stuff like this (plus it helps me rationalize that Gonzaga education a bit better). The reason I love it is because while the United State’s wine consumption has grown substantially, it still remains very low in relation to other countries. We are still by far a beer drinking nation. That said, to see more recognition when it comes to wines and where they come from means that we, as a country, are learning more about wine.
The only downside to this study is that it was a small sample size. It would have also been interesting to survey the same participants though it would probably be an immense pain to keep track of 400+ randoms for eight years.
As wine continues to grow in popularity it is so nice to see that more of you are starting to geek out with us! As usual there is still plenty to be done and lots more wine to drink to make sure that we know as much as we can about the amazing world of wine. With that it is time to do my part.
1 – https://www.winebudsiness.com/news/?go=getArticle&dataid=192980