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A Comparison of the Influence of Purchaser Attitudes and Product Attributes on Organic Wine Preferences

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Cornell Hospitality Quarterly

Published online on


Despite considerable theoretical support for the proposition that wine consumers’ purchase decisions would be influenced by whether a wine was organic, this study found that taste overwhelmed all other considerations in respondents’ selection of wine. This experimental study used sensory evaluation in conjunction with a survey of participants’ attitudes toward sustainability and other environmental issues. The study’s methodology was supported theoretically by a means–end approach, evaluative conditioning, and consumer involvement. Despite the strong theoretical underpinnings that suggested personal attitudes would drive purchase decisions, the results indicate that taste alone consistently influenced participants’ preference for wines. Once the respondents tasted the wine, the fact that the wine was organic had no further influence on the wine purchase decision.