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Is there a gender effect on wine choice in Portugal? – A qualitative approach

Carla Ferreira (Department of Economics Sociology and Management, Universidade de Tras-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Vila Real, Portugal)
Lina Lourenço-Gomes (Department of Economics, Sociology and Management (DESG), University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro (UTAD), Vila Real, Portugal)
Lígia M. Costa Pinto (NIPE, Universidade do Minho Departamento de Economia, Braga, Portugal)
Ana Patrícia Silva (Eurofins SAM Sensory and Marketing, Barcelona, Spain)

International Journal of Wine Business Research

ISSN: 1751-1062

Article publication date: 2 September 2019

Issue publication date: 31 October 2019




The purpose of this paper is to analyze the existence and influence of gender effects on wine choice, specifically whether women and men seek the same cues in wine labelling.


Five focus groups, involving 45 regular wine consumers (22 women and 23 men) from four Portuguese wine regions of origin, were conducted. Sessions included two projective techniques. To gather more information, participants were asked to fill a short questionnaire, relating purchasing and consumption habits, knowledge and socioeconomic characteristics. Qualitative data were transcribed verbatim and content analysis was used.


Women frequently associate wine to the context of consumption; while men frequently associate wine to convivial and sensorial pleasure. Region of origin and prior knowledge experience seem to be the two main reasons for men to choose a wine; while, women seem to rely more on wine brand and previous experience. Front label information (region of origin, awards and region illustration) seems to be more important for women, while the back label descriptors (grape variety, world heritage site and wine history) are more relevant for men. The typography (font size) and information type were identified as negative aspects of the back label.

Practical implications

Understanding how men and women looking for information on a wine bottle can help marketers communicate with specific market segments. This paper provides insights to design marketing campaigns regarding product customization at the level of label information and design.


The present research contributes to current literature on wine consumer behaviour, exploring behavioural differences, perceptions and motivations by gender. In particular, the relevance of wine cues for choice decision is explored. The evidence of focus groups combined with projective techniques is complemented with data collected through a questionnaire.



This work is financed by the project NORTE-01-0145-FEDER-000038 (INNOVINE and WINE– Innovation Platform of Vine and Wine, Portugal) and by European and Structural and Investment Funds in the FEDER, Spain component, and supported through the Operational Competitiveness and Internationalization Program, Portugal (COMPETE 2020) [Project No. 006971 UIC/SOC/04011)]; and national funds, through the FCT – Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology under the projects UID/SOC/04011/2019 and UID/ECO/03182/2019.


Ferreira, C., Lourenço-Gomes, L., Pinto, L.M.C. and Silva, A.P. (2019), "Is there a gender effect on wine choice in Portugal? – A qualitative approach", International Journal of Wine Business Research, Vol. 31 No. 4, pp. 618-639.



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Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

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