Sensory Analysis, Terroir, and the Development of Taste Cultures in the Wine Industry of British Columbia: A Comparison of Ten Merlots by Experts and Novice Consumers from the Okanagan and Quebec.

Principal Investigator
Annamma Joy, Faculty of Management, UBC Okanagan

Bianca Grohmann, Marketing, Concordia University

Project Description

Wine consumption in Canada in general, and consumption of wines from British Columbia in particular, have been climbing exponentially in recent decades. Surprisingly little research has been done on what factors fuel these related trends, despite the fact that these changes in behaviour clearly impact the Canadian wine industry. Our goal is to identify the underlying socio-cultural forces driving these trends, by investigating the development of taste cultures within the artisanal wine industry in the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia, a primary source of wine production in Canada. Consumers’ assessments of the taste of a specific wine are not based solely on individual taste, but also on the development of a wine culture. We seek to understand how consumers’ identification with the origins of a wine, as well as wine socialization and education affect consumer perceptions of wine, by connecting wine consumption to the development of our individual selves, even as socialization and habituation align us with others sharing a communal culture

This project is generously supported by a grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada for the period 2017-2020