Nearly half of wine drinkers reject dealcoholized or reduced-alcohol wines on the grounds of taste or quality - according to a survey of over 16,000 respondents conducted by market researchers Wine Intelligence and published by the Italian publication, Wine World Magazine. Participants in the study were based across the world, including in European countries such as Germany and Denmark, as well as Australia, Canada, the USA, Brazil, Japan and Singapore.
The biggest reason people do not buy reduced-alcohol wine - named by 27% of respondents - was taste, while 21% said that the quality of these beverages was lower than that of normal wines. Between these two answers, which presumably often overlap for consumers who associate poor quality with products they don't personally like, 25% said that it is not a 'real wine' and 23% complained that a personal favorite wine is not available in a reduced-alcohol version. The same number of respondents - 23% - stated that the products in question did not contain enough alcohol to "feel an effect".
The picture is only slightly different for completely dealcoholized wines. One third of respondents cited the fact that the product was not a real wine as a barrier to purchase, followed by 30% who expressed reservations about the taste. A full 29% put forward the argument that the product does not contain any alcohol. In fourth place came the belief that these products are of lower quality when compared to conventional wine (21%).
Only 5% of respondents said they would be ashamed to be seen drinking a dealcoholized wine in public, compared with the marginally higher 6% for reduced-alcohol wine.
These findings will not surprise anyone who has followed the history of these products over time and may help to fuel the move towards to production of innovative lower and non-alcoholic beverages that have nothing to do with wine, such as the ones offered by Kin Euphorics that claim to deliver 'mood-boosting' effects, thanks to 'adaptogens' and 'nootropics'.