Understanding the Fine Wine Consumer: Introducing the Country Profiles Series

The ARENI – Mestrezat Barometer was launched in 2019 to provide information about fine wine consumers. Since its inception, it has allowed us to define fine wine through the eyes of trade and consumers, while also offering quantified data on the size, scale and shape of the fine wine segment in key markets. Through this Barometer, we study the differences between fine wine consumers and shed light on the major trends and changes in consumer behaviour.

We previously published reports that explored the UK, USA, continental China and Hong Kong markets, still available today on the ARENI website.

For this new round of exploration, we chose a different approach. Instead of producing in-depth reports on one or two key markets, we are producing a series of country profiles; these are snapshots of markets that we believe are particularly interesting.

They are not meant to be an exhaustive presentation of how the fine wine market is organised in a given country, but instead aim to show how the market is evolving.

Each country profile focuses on four major questions:

  • How big is the fine wine segment?
  • What makes this market special and/or interesting?
  • Who are the fine wine consumers?
  • What are the main market risks and opportunities?

We are pleased to launch the series today with our first country profile focusing on the French fine wine market.

Key takeaways include:

  • Although French consumers share some common traits with their international counterparts, they have a very particular idea of what fine wine is and how to access it.
  • For French fine wine drinkers, the notion of taste and quality is intimately linked to the notion of terroir and origin.
  • French fine wine consumers are found across all age categories, with very strong representation by young people aged 18-34.
  • They are embracing more non-French fine wines and are opening their cellars — and wallets — to more international fine wines, encouraged by influential figures, from traditional retailers to Instagram sommeliers.
  • France is also the world’s leading tourist destination, welcoming nearly 90 million international tourists. When looking at the fine wine consumer in France, there are really two segments: French residents and international tourists.

All in all, this makes the French fine wine market a fascinating one to study, and not only for French fine wine producers, as may have been the case in the past.

ARENI full members and partners can access the full report HERE. Alternatively, this report extract is free and available to all.

Japan, Singapore, Switzerland, Dubai and Denmark will be next.