LONDON, October 27, 2015 /PRNewswire/ --
Comments from Wotwine? app users prompted an investigation into the quality and value of the aromatised wine based drink category. 6 Master of Wines and other industry professionals tasted 84% of the products available on the supermarket shelves at the time in a blind tasting looking for balance of fruit flavours, sugar, acidity and alcohol to make it a refreshing drink.
A disgraceful 86% of products tasted were rated as poor and deemed bad for both the consumer and the industry.
Poor examples showed oxidised base wine, cloying sweetness, unbalanced alcohol and tired synthetic flavours; a poor caricature of the fruit flavours advertised on the label.
Best before dates, where stated, gave a window of 18 months. At 6 months they already showed considerable evolution and degradation of flavour leaving them tired and dirty. Laura Jewell MW, ex buyer for the category for Tesco noted the flavour and quality during development and at bottling were far superior to those being tasted. It is clear research on how these artificial flavours age in bottle has not been adequately conducted.
The 4 wines rated acceptable quality were all sparkling. The carbon dioxide possibly aided the perception of freshness, protecting against oxidation. In poor examples the bubbles volatised the off flavours highlighting the need for good, clean base material.
57% of products rated as acceptable were in the lower alcohol category (5.5% and below) though poor examples were merely an enfeebled shadow of wine; dilute and watery.
Of the 86% of products rated as poor, 59% were between 5.5% and 15% alcohol by volume lacking the fruit to balance the alcohol leaving them tasting slick and warm.
Despite a difference in alcohol duty of £1.18 between the 4-5.5% and the 5.5-15% categories, there was an average price difference of just 48p demonstrating that the tax saving was not being passed on to the consumer.
Gallo Fruit Fusion sells for an average of 54p more than the average bottle of wine despite containing only 50% wine
The category is fast growing and appeals to those who have grown up drinking sweet fizzy drinks. The alcohol, attractive wine bottle packaging, and relatively high price adds a perceived sophistication to these products. It is a legitimate idea for a fun category to absorb some of the global bulk wine surplus, but it has been poorly executed and as such offers neither quality nor value to the consumer and stands to damage the wine category by association.
- NOTES TO EDITORS
- For the full aromatised wine based drink report contact Alex Tilling: firstname.lastname@example.org, +44(0)7539668203, wotwine.com, W1J 9HF
- The Wotwine? app is free to download from iTunes App Store and Google Play here..
- Wotwine? is 100 per cent independent, purchasing every single bottle of wine tasted. All wines are tasted blind by a panel of industry professionals
- Any supermarket retail prices quoted above are subject to change.