By Amy Looker

One of Australia’s largest hotel groups, Mercure, has released the findings of a survey covering the wine drinking habits of its guests.

The group, which has 23 properties nationally, conducted the research to compile its Mercure Grands Vins wine list for spring and summer.

And in a reflection of bottle shops, restaurants and bars across the country, the survey discovered that chardonnay is the fastest declining white wine variety, while sauvignon blanc continues to grow in popularity.

However, while New Zealand sauvignon blanc maintained its dominance in the white wine category, local sauvignon blanc is fighting back, with many guests choosing a local sauvignon blanc over an imported bottle.

“The aim of the survey was to choose the spring Grands Vins wine selections according to the changing tastes of our guests,” said Greg Brady, co-ordinator of Mercure’s Grands Vins program in Australia.

“While the survey reflected what many people already suspected – that poorly made, over-oaked chardonnay was on the nose with the wine-drinking public – what also came out of the survey was that there has been some renaissance for newer-style chardonnay,” he said.

“What also came out strongly was that both guests and local diners alike want to have a taste of their local region, especially when they dine out at a restaurant. Mercure hotels have always positioned themselves as the ‘keys to the region’, providing an authentic ‘taste’ of the city or the region in which they operate, so the Grands Vins selections are an important component of that local experience.

“Equally important is the pricing. We want to dispel the myth that good wine is only associated with high-end restaurants and high-end prices. Mercure’s Grands Vins shows it is possible to enjoy great wines – many from smaller vineyards – at very attractive prices.”

The Mercure Grands Vins regional lists complement each hotel’s standard wine list, which together provide a comprehensive range of Australian wines.

Mercure Grands Vins was first introduced in France in 1983, and the program celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. Every wine offered is selected by an expert tasting panel comprising sommeliers, wine connoisseurs and food and beverage professionals.

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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