Wine merchants play second fiddle to friends and family in recommendations

Wine merchants in the UK need to be prepared to find themselves overruled by buyers' friends and family when it comes to specific product recommendations, according to research from Wine Intelligence.

The industry analyst reveals that, in the UK and other mature markets, wine shoppers take personal suggestions from their loved ones as their primary source of information when deciding which bottle to buy.

As a result, the ideas of amateurs and enthusiasts alike seem to carry more weight even than those of experienced professional wine merchants.

Elsewhere in the world, where wine markets are still developing and consumer understanding is not so great, the pattern is reversed, with professionals taking the top spot over and above friends' thoughts on what makes a good wine.

Overall, UK shoppers are influenced most by a combination of friends, family and shop staff - and not so much by wine critics and journalists, or by award-winning wines.

Wine Intelligence adds that there are also specific issues to consider in certain buying instances, and that can mean that guests' individual tastes, the meal with which the wine is to be paired, and value for money can all become dominant forces in the buying process too.