Out of 1,500 British adults surveyed, 30% thought the term terroir is a genre of French horror film, 28% insisted it was a breed of dog and only 34% knew that it’s a wine related term.
The term ‘corked’ also produced a variety of responses, with over a third of respondents believing it means that broken pieces of cork are in a bottle of wine (37%) or that the drinker has had one glass too many (7%), rather than that the wine has reacted with the cork and smells of damp cardboard.
Sauternes was similarly baffling with 7% thinking it was a planet in our solar system, one in five naming it as a continental beach resort, 29% saying it was a type of orange and fewer than half of respondents (43%) knowing it is actually a sweet dessert wine.
But Britons are keen to improve their wine knowledge – more than half (51%) want to learn more about wine, according to the research. However, drinkers are often intimidated by the category – 34% say they don’t know where to start, while 28% find it too complicated.
The WSET released the research ahead of its first ever Wine Education Week, which takes place from 9-15 September. It will kick of the week with a Guinness World Record attempt for the largest ever recorded sommelierie lesson (tickets available via Eventbrite).