3rd World Science & Wine: Sustainability of wine production and food systems in the Mediterranean region

As promised, we will maintain the organization of the World Congress every two years. The 3rd World Science & Wine Congress will be from 14 to 16 June 2023 in Vila Nova De Gaia and the Douro region. The topic for this scientific meeting here will be “Sustainability of wine production and food systems in the Mediterranean region”.

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Breadstick fortification with red grape pomace: effect on nutritional, technological and sensory properties

Grape pomace, a wine-making by-product rich in dietary fiber and total phenolic compounds, is a potential functional ingredient in the fortification of baked goods. Grape pomace improved the nutritional values of fortified breadsticks and changed the rheology of dough and breadsticks’technological properties without affecting sensory acceptability.

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Carbon footprint of table grapes imported from India – Analysis and reduction Potential

Consumers expect an all year round supply of fruits and vegetables, which includes table grape. In spring, at a time when domestic table grapes are not available in Europe, India is a major source of table grapes on the world market. The objective of this study was to follow the table grape from their origin in India to Bonn in Germany, where the study authors are based and purchased the grapes. After harvest, table grapes are hydro-cooled, packed in PET punnets and transported by refrigerated truck over ca. 400 km to Mumbai, where they are shipped at 0 °C in reefer containers from the Indian ocean via the Suez Canal to Antwerp. Overall, the carbon footprints of importing Indian (333 g CO₂eq) grapes resembled that of South African (309 g CO₂eq) ones due to comparable mileage between Mumbai/India and Antwerp (6317 nm) and Capetown and Antwerp (6155 nm).

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Characterization and production of agglomerated cork stoppers for spirits based on a factor analysis method

The decision-making in the investment of a new line of stoppers based on agglomerated cork requires knowledge of the composition and its contribution to its performance. For this, it is necessary to observe the leading products on the market and to test a series of prototypes with different formulations. The development of manufacturing products made by cork, such as bottle stoppers, benefits strongly from accurate chemical and structural characterizations, correlated to the final material performance. A wise starting point to fulfill such requirement consist of comparing available products in the market to be compared with different prototypes with varying composition. This work presents a blind characterization of a series of cork samples through a non-supervised exploratory analysis designed to select agglomerated corks for spirits and still wines in the packaging industry.

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Health warning labels on wine bottles and how they influence perceived risk of consumption

Wine is an essential part of European culture. Unfortunately, the consumption of alcohol, such as wine, can have negative health effects. Health warning labels (HWLs) are increasingly presented as a measure to warn consumers of the threat alcohol poses to their health. At present, only a few countries in Europe have introduced mandatory HWLs on wine bottles. This may be due to the cultural and economic significance of wine and the European public’s refusal to accept HWLs on a product like wine. To investigate this issue, the authors conducted an online experiment in the German-speaking part of Switzerland and assessed the perception of risk in participants who were presented wine bottles featuring different types of HWLs. They also studied how health beliefs and cultural worldviews influence the perception and acceptance of HWLs. The study revealed a small effect of HWLs on consumers’ risk perception. There was no difference between a simple text-only HWL and a label featuring a deterring picture (image-and-text HWL). The major determinants of HWL acceptability were cultural worldviews and health beliefs. That is, participants who opposed government intervention for collective wellbeing and espoused a belief in the health benefits of wine were less likely to accept HWLs on wine. More research is needed to assess the effectiveness of HWLs in real-life situations and the importance of culture to the acceptance of such a public intervention measure.

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Analyzing the risks of illiquidity of fine wine

In this post authors summarize the result of a study in which they used a unique and very deep database to examine the performance of wine investments over the period 2003–2014. Their results reveal that the returns stemming from those investments are important but can largely be explained by their exposure to common risk factors. It appears essential to properly account for the lack of liquidity on the wine market and its exposure to global currency risk. Controlling for these wine market specificities and contradicting prior evidence, fine wines do not seem to offer abnormal returns.

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Wine packaging and its impact on flavor

This is a post that summarizes a review of the most commonly available wine packaging categories. This includes glass bottles, polyethylene terephthalate bottles, bag-in-box, aluminum cans, and Tetra Pak. While glass is still the dominant packaging material within the wine industry and by consumer demand, economic and environmental concerns are driving the industry and consumers to investigate and adopt alternative packaging materials.

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Is the second-cheapest wine a rip-off?

The second-cheapest bottle on a restaurant wine list is widely thought to be priced to exploit naïve diners embarrassed to choose the cheapest option. This post it is a summary of an investigation whether this behavioral theory holds empirically. The authors find that the mark-up on the second-cheapest wine is significantly below that on the four next most expensive wines. It is therefore an urban myth that the second-cheapest wine is an especially bad buy.

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Historical Wines of Portugal: The Classification, Consumer Associations and Marketing Implications

Geographical origin, use of traditional varieties and ancestral viticulture/oenology practices characterize wines classified as Historical Wines of Portugal (HWP). This post reports a study that identifies the authenticity attributes consumers associate with this classification and assesses the relative strength of associations. Compared to Aspirational Explorers, wine connoisseurs emerged as Heritage Gatekeepers, associating origin, cultural heritage, quality, production and at-home consumption more strongly with HWP, and tradition, wine age and out-of-home consumption less strongly. Market recognition of HWP as a novel and distinctive table wine classification, with well-defined and unique attributes, is thus likely to depend on consumers’ general wine knowledge. Related promotional activities targeting wine novices should first focus on educating them on HWP classification, whereas those directed at savvier consumers should emphasize wine authenticity cues instead.

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