The more you know about your wine drinkers, the better job you can do serving them. We ran a survey of wine drinkers to understand more about their needs. The survey covered what they most liked about wine and the biggest hurdles they have in enjoying wine. This article explains what these wine tasters need in more detail along with some solutions to those problems.

The survey ran for 30 days and received just over 200 responses. About 40% were men and 60% were women. These wine drinkers took the survey on Facebook or via Amazon Mechanical Turk.

How much tasters want to spend

We asked how much people spend on a bottle. We didn’t want to understand the maximum or the minimum they will spend. We were interested in their average spend. This is the amount that would be the easiest price to sell them at without extra promotions or a more extensive sales process. It’s a habit they already have.

The results were that about 1/3 of the tasters spend $11-$15 dollars per bottle. Another third spend between $16-$20 dollars per bottle. About 1/6 of people spend $6-10 per bottle. And, the remaining 1/6 spend more than $20 per bottle. The takeaway here is that you can cover the majority of people (around 66%) if you have wine priced between $11 and $20.

The wines your tasters like

We also asked about their wine preferences. About 1/3 like big red wines. About 1/4 enjoy sweet wine. About another 1/4 enjoy all wines. Only about 12% enjoy dry white wines. This is a good starting place to understand what wines to include in your tastings.

I find that many tastings don’t offer a sweet wine, or have just limited choices. About 50% of your tasters (your sweet and your sensitive tasters) might be willing to buy them if these wines are presented correctly. But, bringing a variety of wines will likely be necessary to cover a broad range of tasters. Another option would be to specialize. For example, you could do a tasting of all sweet wines between $11-$20. Or, some other category that would match your tasters needs.

When asked the most important thing about wine, the vast majority of respondents said taste. They are looking for wines with the tastes they love.  What they need from you, as a wine consultant, is that you can lead them to the wines with the flavors that they love. That seems obvious, right? But, it is a real problem for many tasters.  

Next, we asked tasters what their biggest problem in wine drinking is. There were many kinds of answers. They fell into these categories.

  1. Flavor: these tasters have a hard time finding wines with the flavors they enjoy.
  2. Different palates in the same household makes it difficult for families to enjoy wine together.
  3. Access: these tasters can’t find the wines they enjoy in the place where they live.
  4. Inexperience: these tasters either haven’t found a wine they enjoy or feel they don’t know enough about wine to make a good selection.
  5. Waste: these tasters don’t drink a bottle before it spoils 
  6. Value: these tasters want to find quality wines for a reasonable price.

As a wine consultant, you have two choices. You can provide information that will help your tasters fix these problems themselves. Or, you can provide the tools they need to fix these problems for themselves. In other words, you can sell items that will help them. It will be worth the effort to help them in this way. If you can help them solve these problems, you will be able to sell more bottles.

We talk about the “flavor issue” all of the time at VineTutor, and with good reason. It is the number one issue for the wine tasters we surveyed, bottle mismatch. Our Taster’s Tool is a good way to help people find a wine that has the flavors they like. You can also use a flavor wheel to help people find flavors they might like.

Another issue that we heard was different palates in the same house. For example, one partner likes big reds and the other likes minerally whites. The Taster’s Tool can help with this as well. Perhaps there’s a wine that represents a medium ground.

You, as a wine consultant, can help solve the access problem that also showed up in the survey results. You will be introducing your tasters to wines that they wouldn’t have access to otherwise. This can be a powerful way to build a loyal following. If you’re the sole source for a wine that your taster loves, they will come back to you over and over.

Some tools that can help your tasters

You can also help with their inexperience or fear by calmly educating your tasters and providing them with wine tools. We also have a few tools that you can use to help your tasters such as our Wine Term Megalist, our Old-World Wine Name Matching Tool, and our Wine Grape Megalist, among others.

Waste and spoilage is another theme we heard. In some homes, they don’t consume enough wine to finish a bottle before it spoils. This either causes them to buy less wine, or they just deal with the spoilage. Think about how this affects how many bottles they buy with you. If they are afraid that the extra wine will go to waste, they will buy less, if any, from you. This concern about waste and spoilage can be a barrier to their purchasing with you, even if you know they enjoy the wine.

There are several ways to fix this for your customers. Offer half-bottles, if you can. You might also consider offering wine preservation systems to your tasters. The products for this usually work by keeping oxygen away. Normally, they add a heavier gas to the half-filled botthle or they remove oxygen from the bottle.

We often talk about the goal of VineTutor as helping you to sell more wine. The best way to do that is to understand what your customers need from you. First, they need you to match them with a wine that has the flavors they most enjoy. Your tasters also need you to solve as many of the hurdles they are having in enjoying wine more. In this article, we reviewed the most prevalent wine drinking issues our survey takers experience. This is a great information to help you understand what your tasters really need from you. 

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