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Wine and Women: A Focus on Feminine Consumption of Wine


Continuous evolution of modern society provides changes in lifestyle and consumption habits, consequently reflecting on food consumption, where we can include the wine. In this context, even for wine there have been changes from the past to today, driving more and more consumers to think about this product less and less as a beverage and an more as a hedonistic and refined product. Relationship with wine changed also at generational and social level and women become interested and passionate consumers, aware of its quality; often also with a great role in the wine world choosing jobs like wine-sellers, producers, sommeliers or oenologist. Wine by the feminine side means the pleasure of enjoying in a conscious way and to get to know its characteristics and match them correctly to the food. Women appreciate and consume wines with a different attitude from that of men: more attention to details, matching with food and locations. Object The aim of this paper is to study the characteristics of feminine consumption of wine, highlighting preferred types of wine (white, red or sparkling wine), the most popular varieties and labels considered more attractive in the choice of a wine. In addition, considering that the training and knowledge about the wines could lead to more conscious preferences, we wanted to measure, also, the level of information about wines of women interviewed and compare the differences in opinions between women expert in wines and other less experienced. Materials and Methods We have preliminarily stratified female consumers of wine depending on age, income and employment, and we subsequently extracted (using a rational-stratified sampling with random selection from each stratum), a sample of 100 female consumers in Sicily (Southern Italy) to whom we asked to complete a questionnaire. The questionnaire was structured into several sections, with closed-ended questions, in order to learn about aspects related to feminine purchase and consumption habits, sociological characteristics, willingness to pay (hedonic prices), motivational and emotional factors in purchasing process and knowledge about wines (information and awareness). Results and discussion The results show what is now the current development trend of wine consumption in the world of women. Women of a more mature age are "frequent consumers" and prefer to drink wine daily with meals, while younger generations are more likely to occasional consumption linked to particular events and prefer to drink wine in wine-bar or lounge-bar. For all age strata, unlike what we have always believed, women prefer red wine to white wines, full-bodied and structured wines, with a particular penchant for local varieties. In all strata, homogeneous for age, income and occupation, we observed different behavior and preferences depending on the level of knowledge about wines of respondents. It highlighted that consumers make different choices (as regards of type of wine, white or red, variety, price paid, etc.) according to their level of information about wines. A higher culture and information drives preferences towards high-quality wines, while label design or lower prices become less important. Conclusion For the same favorites grape varieties or types of wine, quality is overall the factor with the most higher influence on preferences for women with a medium-high culture about wines, followed by the visual appearance of labels. While, the first motivation, for the less informed female consumers, is mainly price, followed by labels. The brand mane or reputation of the winery or producer are other factors affecting the choice of buying, but these are related to a prior tasting of the product and a careful evaluation of the information shown in labels, considered very important.