Brock expert explains how to wow with wine this holiday season

In search of the perfect wine gift this holiday season?

Whether the bottle features a celebrity name, won a gold medal or received a rave review can all impact how a gift is perceived by its recipient.

Brock University Professor of Marketing and Consumer Psychology Antonia Mantonakis has a few tips to help ensure gifts come with the ‘wow’ factor.

Mantonakis researches how people choose, buy and consume wine.

When purchasing for someone new to wine, she recommends looking for an award-winning bottle.

“An enthusiast looking to learn more about wine is more impressed by any and all awards or medals compared to someone with high wine knowledge,” says Mantonakis.

She also suggests looking for a bottle endorsed by a celebrity athlete.

“In our research, we found that consumers liked the taste of a new wine better, reported a higher willingness to buy it, and a higher willingness to pay for it, if the celebrity athlete’s sport was considered a moderate match to the product category of wine,” says Mantonakis. “Too much of a match to the product category of wine, for example a celebrity golfer, was considered too predictable, whereas too little of a match, for example a celebrity wrestler, was perceived to be too strange. With a moderate match, for example an Olympic speed skater, consumers were intrigued and thought about the wine more.”

For anyone purchasing for an avid wine consumer, she suggests learning if they have a preferred wine critic. According to her research, who the reviewer is impacts consumers’ openness to trying a new wine.

“If a consumer likes a certain wine critic, they will always go with that recommendation, meaning a bottle recommended by your recipient’s favourite critic is a safe bet,” says Mantonakis. “On the opposite end of the spectrum, if the consumer does not like a certain wine critic, it can dissuade them from trying that wine.”

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