The intrinsic dimensions of wine quality: An exploratory investigation
Faculty of Business and Public Management
School of Marketing, Tourism and Leisure
There is considerable uncertainty in the marketing literature regarding the processes by which consumers perform product quality assessments. The study reported in this paper explored the process of product quality assessment in the context of wine consumption in Australia. Wine provides an interesting case study as it has received little research attention in the past and as an aesthetic product it has the potential to provide insight into the quality assessment process for other aesthetic goods. Interviews and focus groups were conducted with a total of 103 consumers, producers and wine-industry mediators. Numerous intrinsic quality dimensions were identified, which interact in quite complex ways. Of greatest importance to interviewees appeared to be the pleasure derived from wine consumption, which seemed to have a close relationship with favourable perceptions of a wine’s taste. This provides a contrast to the discussions of wine quality to be found in the wine literature where the focus is more on cognitive elements of wine quality evaluation, such as complexity or ageing potential. Further it seems that drinkers’ levels of involvement with the product are critical to their description of wine quality dimensions.