Date of Graduation

12-2012

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Human Environmental Science (MS)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

General Human Environmental Sciences

Advisor

Robert Harrington

Committee Member

Leslie Edgar

Second Committee Member

Kelly Way

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to explore significant differences in perception of match for a variety of food and wine styles; evaluate the impacts of wine sweetness level, wine acidity level, and wine tannin level on perception of match; and to investigate the impact of food and wine expertise on perceived level of match. A field research design was used to explore expert recommendations of food and wine combinations to obtain broader feedback on consumer perceptions. The population consisted of a convenience sample of 248 students enrolled in a continuing education course in food and wine pairing at George Brown College in Canada. Participants evaluated their perceived competency in food and wine pairing experience; sweetness, acidity and tannin levels for each wine; and perception of match with each food and wine combination using a survey instrument that employed 0 - 10 line scales for each evaluation. Participants were separated into expert and novice groups based on their self-evaluation of food and wine pairing experience in order to explore differences in perception between experts and novices. The highest perceived wine matches for each food item were: Sauvignon Blanc and chêvre (mean = 5.69; SD = 2.32), Chardonnay and brie (mean = 4.08; SD = 2.36), Cabernet Sauvignon and spicy Italian salami (mean = 5.09; SD = 2.45), and Port and milk chocolate (mean = 5.46; SD = 2.87). Wine sweetness, acidity and tannin levels all significantly impacted the level of match with certain food items. Food and wine expertise also significantly impacted the level of match, and differences between the expert and novice groups were found in regard to perception of match for select food and wine combinations and the impact sweetness, acidity, and tannin had on level of match.

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