Application of consumer sensory science in wine research

I. L. Francis, P. O. Williamson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


The sensory properties of wines are a major element that will determine success with consumers. It has been only in recent times that the wine industry and research community have started to apply the principles of sensory evaluation to quantify consumer preferences. This review provides an overview of current knowledge of the sensory attributes that have been found to be important to consumer preference and liking, including taints and off-flavours. The evidence for subgroups of consumers with different preference is considered, and the links between liking responses and demographic or psychologically based measures are outlined. The relationship between quality judgements of experts and liking of consumers has been established in several studies, and it has been repeatedly shown that generally there is no relationship between the two measures. Finally, the limitations in methodology for characterising consumer perceptions and hedonic response, the value of blind versus informed evaluations, and the linkages between consumer sensory-based testing and marketing research are explored.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)554-567
Number of pages14
JournalAustralian Journal of Grape and Wine Research
StatePublished - Dec 1 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Affective testing
  • Flavour
  • Liking
  • Preference
  • Sensory descriptive analysis


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