German Wines Please Palates

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According to a recent survey by Wine Opinions, a research provider to the U.S. wine industry, Americans across multiple demographics frequently purchase and recommend German wines. The wines are particularly popular among wine importers and distributors, retail, restaurant and hospitality employees as well as Americans under the age of forty.

Hospitality and beverage professionals gave high quality ratings to German wines overall and especially in regards to white wines, when compared the other nine wine-exporting countries evaluated in the study. While all other white wines received an average quality score of 2.93 on a four-point scale, the average respondent ranking for Mosel wines was a 3.59, the highest average rating given a white wine. Furthermore, Rheingau wines received a 3.27 quality rating, with one-third of respondents considering the wines of Rheingau and Rheinhessen "outstanding" (38 percent and 31 percent, respectively).

The high quality scores reflect a rapidly growing affinity for German white wines among wine industry professionals that is spreading to consumers. More than a quarter of consumer survey respondents - 29 percent - said they purchased a white German wine within the last six months. In terms of white wine purchases, Germany was second only to France and New Zealand (both 31 percent). Of the German white wine purchasers, 36 percent of the respondents were in their 20s and 30s, revealing a growing preference for German white wines among younger Americans. Furthermore, while only 9 percent between the ages of 60 and 69 said they were "very likely" to purchase German white wines, 25 percent of those between the ages of 21 and 29 said they were "very likely" to purchase the wines.

When respondents were asked on an unaided basis to indicate their favorite wine or type of wine from Germany, Riesling was the top response by a wide margin for consumers (65 percent) and 53 percent from trade.

"Whether it be a crisp Riesling or dry Pinot Noir, we believe that the diversity, complexity and quality of German wines make them some of the finest in the world," said Monika Reule, managing director of the Deutsches Weininstitut. "That such a wide variety of people enjoy our wine reaffirms that belief, and we will continue to export high quality wine to the U.S. market."

The Imported Wine Comparative Survey measured consumer attitudes, purchases, evaluations and taste preferences for wines from 10 wine-exporting countries: Australia, Argentina, Chile, France, Germany, Italy, New Zealand, Portugal, Spain and South Africa. The survey was fielded to the Wine Opinions consumer panel, which consists of 805 wine drinkers, the largest online panel of high frequency wine consumers ever assembled. A Wine Opinions trade panel of 109 pre-screened participants was also surveyed in order to gauge industry attitudes toward imported wines.

Information supplied by Wines of Germany, 1 October 2008