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Brits love drinking wine, but how much do we actually know about it?
A survey commissioned by the Wine & Spirit Education Trust to mark the launch of Wine Education Week (9-15 September) reveals that our knowledge of this popular drink is not particularly profound
As a nation we now drink a staggering 22.1 million bottles of wine a week, but new research suggests we actually know very little about what we are drinking.
According to the data, as many as a third choose a bottle of wine based solely on whether they like the label, while a further one in ten have purchased a bottle because they think the name sounds sophisticated.
When it comes to terminology, 30% of those polled thought that “terroir” was a genre of French horror film, while 28% opted for a breed of small dog. Only 34% knew the correct answer: that “terroir” refers to the ground in which grapevines are planted.
The French dessert wine, Sauternes was similarly baffling to Brits, with seven per cent thinking it was a planet in the solar system, one in five believing it was a French beach resort and 29% believing it was a type of orange.
When it comes to the term “corked”, 37% believe it means that some of the cork is broken, while seven per cent believed it referred to someone being plastered, as opposed to it meaning, simply, that the wine has reacted to the cork.
Despite the blunders, the survey found almost one in ten Brits say they have a “good knowledge” of wine and 12% say they “know their way round a wine list”. A more honest 13% say they can talk a good game but actually know very little, meanwhile a quarter of us confess to knowing “absolutely nothing” about it. Over a quarter of people admit they have bought an expensive wine to show off to family or friends.
Ian Harris, CEO of the Wine & Spirit Education Trust, which commissioned the study said: “With a whole world of wine out there to discover, it’s hardly surprising that there are gaps in the nation’s knowledge, or that the prospect of learning more might feel intimidating.
“It’s encouraging, though, to see that so many Britons are keen to gain more knowledge about one of their favourite drinks - and Wine Education Week is the perfect time to do just that.”
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