Manor Estate Sparkling Brut can be enjoyed all year round by all genders.
Gendered perceptions often lead to assumptions that ultimately affect consumer preferences, but men are bucking the system, says Peter Cap, director and wine-maker at Manor Estate in Australia’s famed McLaren Vale wine-producing district. As a man with scientific leanings, Peter enjoys following the results of various studies dealing with his favourite topic: wine. Balancing the results of these studies with his own winemaking and marketing experience results in some interesting conclusions, specifically that while sparkling wine is often perceived as feminine, men may be the real enthusiasts.
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The Perception: Bubbly is Feminine
For those who have never really thought about it, it may come as a surprise that the majority of US consumers tend to consider the drink we traditionally enjoy when celebrating special occasions as being “feminine.”
Peter Cap became aware of this perception thanks to his interest in popularising Manor Estate Wines in the USA. A Sparkling Brut and a Sparkling Shiraz, both award-winners, are among the Estate’s flagship products. During his research into the US market, he discovered a research paper on consumer perceptions based on a survey of random US wine-drinkers. Its conclusion was that the majority of consumers perceive bubbly as being “feminine.”
“There are probably plenty of good reasons for this,” says Peter. “Sparkling wine has romantic connotations, and there’s an element of glamour that could be seen as feminine. However, the truth is that men enjoy their sparkling wine as much or more than women do.”
Men and Women Appreciate Sparkling Wine in Different Ways
Referring to another study, this time conducted in Australia, Peter discusses the differences – and similarities – in the way men and women enjoy their sparkling wine. “According to a study published in the journal Beverages, men tend to be more interested in the technical aspects of wine making and wine tasting than women are,” says Peter.
“In Manor Estate’s experience, this seems to be true. While both men and women enjoy the sparkling wines produced here, the men are more likely to want ‘reasons’ why they should enjoy the wine, while the ladies are more inclined to just enjoy the sparkling wine experience without feeling a need for extra input to motivate why they like it.”
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The Secrets Behind Good Sparkling Wine
Fortunately, Peter Cap is more than happy to share the information that people seeking a deeper understanding of his wines are looking for. There are several “secrets” behind a really good bubbly, and according to Peter, it all begins with the choice of high-quality wine grapes. “Manor Estate doesn’t limit itself to grapes grown on any single estate. Instead, we select the best fruit available in the region. Good beginnings make for a great end-product.”
Next, comes the time-honoured natural fermentation process. “Many of the cheaper, mass-produced wines are rushed through fermentation in a matter of months with the help of additives,” says Peter. “Manor Estate does things the old-fashioned way, fermenting the wine in oak barrels for years. Throughout this time, we carefully monitor several factors and adjust the environment accordingly. For example, fermentation temperature is a very important factor.”
Once the wine is ready for bottling, it’s time to add the bubbles. “Natural yeast added to the bottle to produce bubbles is an interesting concept, but carbonation results in a bubblier wine that consumers actually prefer. The bubbles last longer, and boost enjoyment of the wine down to the very last drop.”
Sparkling Wine is a “People” Drink
While the discussion on the gender-identity of wine is interesting to Peter, he asserts that men may like bubbly more than the “feminine” perception of the celebratory drink seems to indicate. “When people celebrate, they celebrate together with loved ones. The right wine adds sparkle to the occasion. It’s a people drink. It may be perceived in terms that would traditionally have feminine associations, for example: beautiful, elegant, delicate, or refined – but it’s enjoyed by men as much as it’s enjoyed by women,” he concludes.
“Of course, in marketing, the findings on wine and gender perceptions become more useful although probably rather obvious. If Manor Estate made beer, its advertising would be likely to feature men hanging out in bars or in rugged outdoor settings. For sparkling wine, imagery would be more likely to include romantic settings and, of course, attractive ladies. That doesn’t mean that sparkling wine is girly – though it is certainly beautiful.”
For more information visit the Manor Estate Wines website or call their team of experts on (08) 8383 7300.