BACKGROUND: The use of oak wood pieces in winemaking is increasing, but the acceptance of this technique by consumers is unknown. For that reason, the main aim of this study was to measure consumers' opinion of red wines made with this new technique, their acceptance of them and their intention to purchase these wines. A preference ranking test was also carried out.
RESULTS: A specific questionnaire was drawn up for this study and 65 frequent red wine consumers tasted four wines, two aged traditionally in barrels and two macerated with chips, and a forced choice preference test was carried out. Fifty-five per cent of respondents said that they would not buy wines made using oak chips, although most respondents would buy these wines if, after tasting them, they were as pleasant and had the same quality as the wines aged traditionally in barrels.
CONCLUSION: Wines obtained with oak wood fragments were not significantly rejected either by consumers who answered the questionnaire or by consumer tasters, which could be due to the large disparity of preferences found among tasters. The results clearly indicate that producers should develop each wine taking into account the specific preferences of each consumer group. Copyright © 2011 Society of Chemical Industry