A recent survey by specialist wine bottlers Cobevco has produced some revealing insight into our wine drinking habits. Curiously whilst 1 in 3 respondents claim to be “adventurous” and “knowledgeable”, their other responses suggest that they are anything but! It looks like we British are creatures of habit and rather tight fisted with it.
The survey reveals that the perfect bottle of wine for the typical British palate is Australian, red and costs under £6. 7 out of 10 people would not be prepared to spend more than that and we are succours for the special offer. We prefer to buy our booze in a supermarket and the convenience of screw tops is favoured. We also tend to stick to brands we recognise and failing that the grape varieties that we have tried before and liked. Indeed we are anything but adventurous, we are creatures of habit and we don’t like to spend very much either.
Whilst the output of the traditional wine making countries remains popular there is an increasing demand for products from the New World and emerging countries. Considering the responses in the survey this is probably not a matter of taste but rather the search for a bargain bottle. This should be no surprise given the recent harsh economic times and the fact that many household budgets are still challenged. We want our treat of a tipple but there is a limit to how much of our budgets we are prepared to commit to it.
Whilst the need for budgetary restraint and the convenience of picking up wine at the same time as doing the weekly shop are understandable factors in our choices it does seem rather a shame that we are so limited in our horizons. There are so many spectacular wines to try out there with many originating from countries we have never considered and so it would surely be beneficial to occasionally treat ourselves to something new and different. That could include a variety of great wines from our favourite producer Australia. The really adventurous could look at wines from New Zealand or Eastern Europe for a pleasant change but sadly the supermarket offering is always going to be limited mainly to the perennial favourites because that is what the market demands.
To source more interesting wines and to really be as adventurous as we claim it is necessary to explore the opportunities online and specialist wine merchants. These guys can help us make a great choice without necessarily breaking the bank. It is also worth exploring local wines when travelling. I can still remember my own surprise at tasting a Polish chardonnay. Poland was not somewhere I had even known produced wine until I found myself in a restaurant in Krakow. It seemed appropriate to sample the local fare and I am very glad I did. I was also delighted by Slovenian wine when visiting that beautiful country and realised that my preference for Italian and French wines was merely a result of defaulting to what was in front of my face at the supermarket, much like everyone else. It is well worth breaking free of the supermarkets to test new ground even if it means spending a little more. You can always invest in a few less bottles occasionally in order to accommodate your budget. Sometimes less is decidedly more!
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