Wine Industry Experts Discuss Revolutionary Study
17 December, 2009
Wine Industry Experts Lay Foundation for Revolutionary Study to Examine Levels of Bottle Variation
November meeting of industry stakeholders advises Diam to start with a preliminary trial
San Francisco, CA, December 17, 2009 – A panel of fourteen leaders from across the wine industry offered their recommendations to Australia, UK, and US-based representatives of technical wine closure producer Diam on how to structure a major research study that will provide the first quantitative data on the level of bottle variation among the best-selling wines in the United States.
At a meeting on November 18th, 2009 at the modern Intercontinental Hotel in downtown San Francisco, the blue ribbon industry panel agreed that the first step toward ensuring a scientifically meaningful study would be to conduct a pre-trial. Thus, a preliminary study of three cases (ie thirty-six bottles) of three different wines in 750mL glass bottles, purchased at local San Francisco Bay Area wine retailers, will be technically analyzed for variation in as many ways as
is likely to produce valuable results. Test results will be reviewed by the panel to determine which analyses are the most indicative of bottle variation and should be repeated in the final study. This information will then be passed to an independent statistician in order to determine the necessary sample size of the final study that will ensure statistical significance.
In attendance at the meeting were Bruce Cass, editor of the Oxford Companion to the Wines of North America; John Cunningham, Senior Manager of Research and Development and Process Improvement at G3 Enterprises; Karen Fletcher, Wine Buyer for Fresh & Easy; Tim Gaiser, MS, Education Chair for the American Chapter of the Court of Master Sommeliers; Jamie Goode, Wine Columnist for the UK’s The Sunday Express; Neal Hagiwara, Senior Manager, Corporate Quality at G3 Enterprises; Robert T. Hodgson, Professor Emeritus, Humboldt State University; Helen McGinn, Director of PR/Marketing at Copestick Murray, a UK-based global wine business; Curtis Philips, Technical Editor at Wine Business Monthly; David Stevens, Senior Consultant at Davon International; Wilfred Wong, Director of Ecommerce at Beverages & More, among others.
Discussion on where to purchase the wines led to lively dialogue between retailers who felt the wine should be purchased from the winery and winemakers who advocated purchasing directly from retail. Other points of debate included the design of the organoleptic analysis for the major study; after much consideration, the panel agreed to assemble a sensory panel that would begin with odd-man out tests followed by a duo/trio analysis.
In addition to gathering the necessary data to author a report on the cost to the American wine trade and its influence on the greater economy of bottle variation, a primary goal of this study is to create a bank of valuable “open source” data available to anyone, anytime for future research. In order to create transparency and ensure objectivity in the design of this study, the abovementioned panel of stakeholders from across the wine industry has been invited to both lead and design the study.
November’s meeting was organized by San Francisco-based marketing communications firm Charles Communications Associates (CCA) in conjunction with UK-based CUBE Communications and Diam-USA. The Intercontinental Hotel was selected for its shared
commitment with Diam and CCA to green initiatives; the hotel applied for and will receive LEED-EB status in 2010.
Globally, DIAM is the leading technical cork closure with value sales of $82M in 2008, and enjoyed an 8.5 percent increase in US market share in 2008. Diam is committed to engaging with winemakers, retailers and distributors to drive awareness of current issues and to ensure all key stakeholders start to ‘think’ about the benefits of the closure options available. For more information about DIAM, please visit www.diam-cork.com or www.cubecom.co.uk.