• red wine;
  • descriptive sensory analysis;
  • preference mapping;
  • consumer segmentation;
  • cross-cultural study



To increase the market share of Californian wines in other countries, wine preferences need to be explored in potential markets. This work studied the preferences of American and Italian consumers for red wines produced in California and Italy, focusing on wines made from the same varieties in each location. Descriptive analysis and consumer preference tests were performed.


Americans scored each of the Californian wines significantly higher in preference than the Italian wines. In contrast, the Italian consumer preference scores for many Italian and Californian wines overlapped. By external preference mapping of the American consumer segments, the ideal flavour of one cluster was closest to the Californian Zinfandel, Merlot and Syrah, which had the ‘most balanced’ flavour profiles. Another cluster of Italians also preferred the Californian wines. In addition, one Italian cluster was driven by a dislike of the leather, band-aid and medicinal aromas of the Italian Merlot and Refosco.


The results provided information that can contribute to wine marketing research necessary for successfully exporting Californian red wines to Italy and vice versa.© 2012 Society of Chemical Industry