The Flavour and Varietal Preference in the South Korean Market 2018 report is a useful guide for businesses who wish to gain an insight into the varietal usage and preference of South Korean wine drinkers. In addition, it provides detailed information about their views of both style and flavour descriptors for white wine and red wine.
For this study, we have divided common wine descriptors into two groups; style descriptors and flavour descriptors. Style descriptors express the general structure and body of a wine, whether it is ‘crisp’, ‘fresh’, ‘juicy’ or ‘bold.’ Flavour descriptors are those that describe more specific wine characteristics such as ‘tropical fruit’ or ‘blackberry’.

Key highlights of the report:

  1. Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay are two firm white favourites of South Korean wine drinkers (those who drink imported wine at least every 6 months), this preference also holding true across different age segments, except for wine drinkers between 19 to 24 years old, who are less likely to favour Chardonnay
  2. Younger South Korean wine drinkers have a preference for sweeter wine styles, with wine drinkers between 25 to 44 years old being more likely to report Moscato as their favourite varietal
  3. Cabernet Sauvignon is the ‘universal favourite’ among South Korean wine drinkers who drink red wine. While Cabernet Sauvignon is a clear favourite among all age groups, Pinot Noir is significantly more appealing to younger drinkers
  4. South Korean drinkers of white wine are drawn to white wines described as approachable, with a balance of softness, sweetness balanced with a level of crispness.Descriptors relating to freshness and fruitiness are the most appealing in terms of flavour
  5. Similar to white wine, red wine drinkers find fruit-forward berry flavour descriptors more appealing than descriptors related to spice or ageing such as leather and vanilla

Drawing on data collected from our January 2018 wave of Vinitrac® (the world’s largest ongoing omnibus survey on wine consumer attitudes and behaviours), secondary sources and market experience, this 60-page report offers a detailed analysis of how the market is performing and includes:
▪Favourite red and white grape varietals among semi-annual grape-based imported wine drinkers in South Korea by age
▪Appeal of style and flavour descriptors for both red and white wine among semi-annual grape-based imported wine drinkers in South Korea (those who drink imported wine at least once every 6 months) – including appeal level by both gender and age
▪Appeal of flavour descriptors and varietal preferences by wine involvement segments, including the demographic profile of wine drinkers in three wine involvement segments