Flavour and Varietal Preference in the Japanese Wine Market 2017

Japan VarietalsThis report provides insight to assist those in the industry to understand the varietal and flavour descriptor preferences of Japanese regular wine drinkers, focusing on what types of grape varieties they are consuming, what their favourites are and which specific wine style and flavour descriptors they find both appealing and unappealing.

 

This report reveals that, when it comes to white wine, Japanese regular wine drinkers prefer ‘fresh’ and ‘easy drinking’ wines which include notes of ‘citrus’ and ‘stone fruit’. They show a dislike towards style and flavours descriptors that denote oak and oxidative ageing such as ‘nutty’ and ‘toasty’ as well as tasting descriptors associated with green flavours such as ‘herbaceous’. When it comes to red wines, Japanese regular wine drinkers like wines which are both ‘rich’ and full of ‘umami’ flavours and also wines which are ‘fruity’ and ‘easy drinking’. Similarly to white wines, they dislike oak and bottle ageing descriptors such as ‘smoky’ and ‘leather’ and prefer more fruit forward flavour descriptors such as ‘raspberry’.

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Although this research does not show any significant differences between the appeal level of descriptors for men and women, it does illustrate that there are more differences in the appeal level of descriptors to wine drinkers of different ages. Younger consumers (those below the age of 35), typically have a wider preference for different varietals and are more open to a range of different style and flavour descriptors compared with the older drinkers. Although those under the age of 35 make up a small proportion of the regular wine drinking population (roughly 20% compared to 50% for those over 54), these younger drinkers are showing a different approach to the wine category.
Data for this report was collected from our July 2017 wave of Vinitrac® (the world’s largest ongoing omnibus survey on wine consumer attitudes and behaviours) and the report features:
▪ Appeal of style and flavour descriptors for both red and white wine among Japanese regular wine drinkers – including appeal level by both gender and age
▪ Proportion of Japanese regular wine drinkers who consume different red and white grape varietals
▪ Favourite red and white grape varietals among Japanese regular wine drinkers by age
▪ Appeal of flavour descriptors and varietal preferences by wine involvement levels

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