Hunter white wine taste-testing for research purposes

All For Research: Eveline Frey pours herself a drop of a mystery Hunter wine.
All For Research: Eveline Frey pours herself a drop of a mystery Hunter wine.

Wine lovers of the Hunter, your help is needed.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to taste a brand new type of Hunter white wine for research purposes.

We know, we know – it’s a hard job. But somebody’s gotta do it, right?

The type of wine and the way it’s made won’t be revealed until after the study.

It’s all very mysterious. We like a good mystery.

Swiss psychology student Eveline Frey is running the study, which will tap into that most fascinating of topics – consumer behaviour.

The study, which will be conducted at the University of Newcastle and Hunter Medical Research Institute, requires 90 participants.

“We are looking for people who are interested in wine but not necessarily an expert,” Eveline said.

Participants will be asked about wine-drinking habits, taste observations and price perceptions.

Eveline is working with an unnamed Hunter winery on the project, which is part of her master’s degree.

“We cannot say what winery it is or the grade of wine,” Eveline said.

“We can say it’s a new type of white wine. Also it’s a new way of how to produce it. It hasn’t been on the market in Australia before.”

Dr Tamara Bucher, who is overseeing the study, said consumer behaviour in Australia often differs to European cultures when it comes to drinking.

“This type of wine is popular in Europe but yet to be tested with Australian consumers, so we have a unique chance to compare perceptions, preferences and buying habits,” she said.

“Hunter Valley wineries are generally very innovative and open to trying new processes and products, perhaps because they don’t have such long-standing wine-making traditions.”

Eveline further revealed that her focus was on “health-related behaviour”.

“We’ve noticed the big awareness in eating healthier foods,” she said.

“There’s a lot of things on the market with healthier, organic and fair-traded food.”

She wants to examine whether this trend can be applied to alcohol.

“We also want to see if people are aware of their health when consuming alcohol,” she said.

One side of us was telling us not to bring up a stereotype. But we couldn’t resist. Eveline is from Switzerland. So we had to ask.

Why is she studying wine and not chocolate?

“Because this is something really new and innovative,” she said, with a chuckle.

“Chocolate is really famous. Everybody knows it’s a big thing in Switzerland.”

The wine-tasting study takes 20 minutes, with 90 people required.

A balance of men and women aged 18 or above is being sought.

The taste-testing will be held on February 9 at the university’s Callaghan Campus and February 12 and February 23 at the Newcastle campus in Hunter Street.

Participants will be asked not to drive for four hours after the tasting as a safety measure.

Bookings can be made at winestudybooking.as.me or contact Eveline on 0457 254 550 or email eveline.frey@hest.ethz.ch.

Let's Do It For Research

The Herald posted a story about the wine study on its Facebook page on Wednesday. Funnily enough, there was quite a bit of interest.

Here are a few responses.

Wes Jones: “Lunch session, for science!”

Leah Elliott: “Why do I have to be pregnant right now?”

Em Rose: “Well, if it's for research”.

Shelter from the Storm

Wet and Wild: Rugby players seeking shelter. Picture: Marina Neil.

Wet and Wild: Rugby players seeking shelter. Picture: Marina Neil.

You know when you’re at a sporting contest and – out of the blue – it starts to rain.

Well, sometimes, it doesn’t just start to rain, it sheets down.

This, as you can see from this picture, is what happened at a rugby sevens tournament at Crescent Head last weekend.

Herald photographer Marina Neil, who knows a cracking image when she sees one, captured the Hastings Valley Vikings huddled together under shelter.   

Marina plays for the Waratahs women’s team which, just quietly, won the tournament. Nice one girls. 

The Waratahs rugby team seeks shelter.

The Waratahs rugby team seeks shelter.

The Waratahs rugby team has some fun in the rain.

The Waratahs rugby team has some fun in the rain.