When Picking Wine, Texans Increasingly Toast their Own

In the land of cattle, oil and cotton, wine enjoys a growing audience.

Written by Cory Chandler

Texas wine enthusiasts are going native, drinking wines from their own state more often than vintages hailing from such storied regions as France and Italy, according to a consumer preference survey conducted by the Texas Wine Marketing Research Institute at Texas Tech University.

The telephone survey of 500 Texas wine drinkers sought opinions on wine prices, types, regions and outlets to provide data for the state’s growing wine industry.

Some 48 percent of respondents said they drink California labels most often. Respondents also rated California wines as having the best quality (though they said they’d pay more for French labels).

However, Texas labels beat out all other contenders, including wines from France, Italy and Australia. Fifteen percent of respondents drank Texas wine most often – a fact that Tim Dodd, director of the center, found encouraging considering the Lone Star State’s relatively young wine industry.

"Ten years ago, that number probably would have been closer to 5 percent," said Dodd, noting that he had no previous data for comparison.

Now home to more than 100 wineries, Texas has established a thriving industry in the three decades since some of the state’s first wineries took root. It is now the fifth-largest wine producing state in the nation.

Other survey findings include:

• About 32 percent of those surveyed drink wine once a week. Nine percent drink it several times a week.

• Fifty-six percent of respondents, who all were wine drinkers, quaff wine most often; 22 percent choose beer first.

• Half of respondents said they prefer red wine. White wine claimed second place at 30 percent, while blush got 18 percent of votes.

• Nearly 80 percent have tasted Texas wines. Sixty-five percent say they’ve quaffed a bottle in the past year, with 36 percent saying they pulled the cork on a Lone Star vintage within the past month.

• Thirteen percent of those surveyed had bought wine from a winery in the past three months.

Learn more about Texas wineries and the wine industry at the Texas Wine Marketing Research Institute Web site.

CONTACT: Tim Dodd, director, the Texas Wine Marketing Research Institute, Texas Tech University, (806) 742-3077, or tim.dodd@ttu.edu.