Yes they will! This according to new research which found that, in the eyes of the consumer, a wine will taste better if a winery is hard to pronounce.
Brock University professor, Dr Antonia Mantonakis, found that English-speaking wine consumers were more likely to buy wine from a winery with a difficult-to-pronounce name. Participants in the study also rated wine more highly in a blind tasting, and were prepared to pay more money for the same wine, if it had a name that was difficult to say in English.
Dr Mantonakis said: ‘”Wines associated with more difficult-to-pronounce names are associated with higher ratings. Things that are difficult to pronounce are unfamiliar because they are usually rare.”
Mantonakis admitted the laboratory findings might not be reflected in wine purchases: “Whether these results would replicate in a more natural setting is something that we don’t know.”
This research shouldn’t mean to insist that all wineries must change their name to something unpronounceable such as Chateau Chanugyu Ximeuzg, and start planting Assyrtiko and Xinomavro grapes! I’m not disagreeing with the research…….well yes……..I kind-of am!
I want to retort by saying that the more difficult a wine is to pronounce, the less likely it is to end up in a grocery basket in the first place. I’ve always found that people certainly are prone to spending more money on particular wines based on the label. For example; a bottle of French Bordeaux with a depiction of the Chateau on the front label, has the appearance (in the eyes of the consumer) of being greater in quality than one without. It looks “fancier”!
But what if that bottle is on the shelf next to a Bordeaux-blend from California (same price, with the blend listed on the front label and a fairly pronounceable name), and a novice wine drinker must make a choice. I would have to say they will choose California 99% of the time.