Statistics don’t lie; do they?

~A few months ago a research organization known as Wine Opinions (WO) issued the results of a study they underwrote to determine if there are definite differences between men and women when it comes to wine.
~The study was not concerned with sensory perception differences. WO conceded up front that men and women have “genuine biological differences.”
~WO built a study group of more than 2,000 people that the organization claims represented a geographic and demographic cross section of wine consumers that “drive the market for fine wines.”
~The first thing about the study that made me take notice is that more women than men drink wine once or more a week—54% to 46% (in California, the numbers are reversed). Also, 80% of all wine consumed in the United States goes down the throats of this group.

The study seemed also to discover that men claim to drink mostly red wine—40% to women’s 27%—but that represents the mature wine-drinking group. Younger men wine drinkers consume as much white and red wine as younger women.

That news did not surprise me. The more I meet with young people just starting to appreciate wine, the more I am encouraged that the snobbism of a certain older crowd may soon be a thing of the distant past.

I would, however, love to see something else fade: the statistic that shows men core wine drinkers experiment with a “wider variety” of wines than women.

~The organization claims that tight statistical differences show that men and women don’t differ much in selecting varietals. I simply have too much experience selling wine to believe that stat. But then, it has been three years since I sold my last bottle of wine.
~Apparently, with lower priced wines there is no obvious male or female type or brand, even for wines with gimmicky labels. I’m glad for that, the statistic between male and female, not the gimmicky labels; I hate those.
~I was truly surprised by WO’s statement that the study showed that the number of men wine geeks in the U.S. is no higher than the number of women wine geeks. Since I am not overjoyed by the level of discourse among wine geeks in general, this news hurts my sensibility toward women, whom I always assumed are generally less interested in pounding their chests, which is the general attitude of so many geeks on a few Internet wine bulletin boards. Come to think of it, those bulletin boards seem to attract more men than women, sometimes causing testosterone to ooze from the computer screen.
~According to WO, however, the phenomenon known as “point chasing” is a male activity. The study also points out that wine collecting, buying based on reviews, and issuing forceful opinions are predominantly male wine consumer activities. Yet, it also seems that men are more likely than women to think that when the alcohol in wine reaches past 15% by volume it’s too high. Go figure. Saving grace for geeks.
~Now that I wasted your time with meaningless statistics gleaned from a study done by a company that makes its living consulting for the wine industry, I can easily tell you that I really don’t believe any statistic that does not conform to my opinions!!! Doesn’t everybody feel that way?


Copyright May 2007 by Thomas Pellechia
All rights reserved

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