There is a lot of buzz these days about wines that are hard to pronounce are more attractive to American consumers than the simple named wines.
A study shows that those who tasted wines they couldn’t pronounce liked the wines more and were willing to pay more for them, even if the price was the same and/or of a lesser quality. This brings up an interesting point.
Many say they appreciate how eclectic these wines are. It makes them feel they are drinking something more expensive and exclusive. So you would prefer drinking a Piquepoul because it’s hard to pronounce or a Sauvignon Blanc which most of us know? They are similar in the sense that they both have high acidity, so much so that Piquepoul translates to “stings the lips” due to its naturally high acidity. A Sauvignon Blanc, depending on its region, offers this strong acidity as well, but the profile of these two wines are different.
Would you drink a Zweigelt over a Pinot Noir? They are both easy-drinking wines with soft tannins, no hard edges, and all around friendly and approachable.
I would go for the Zweigelt if the opportunity came to me, but that’s because I am fortunate to try great (and not so great) Pinot Noirs regularly and this varietal is more unique in the United States. That being said, I would never say I like it more for its name or would spend more for it. To me the quality of the wine is SO much more important than the label, price, or brand.
So are American consumers really going for the hard-to-pronounce wines to be more eclectic?