Audre Watrelot. (ISU photo)

An expert at Iowa State University is conducting an online survey of Iowa wine drinkers to learn more about how and why they choose products made in the state.

Aude Watrelot says the survey on white and red wines covers many aspects of the decision to buy a product. “Do they buy those wines at a specific place? So maybe at a winery, or is it more in a restaurant? Or is it in a grocery store? And then what do they look at when they try to purchase wine?,” she says.

The questions also ask about the packaging of wine and how that influences a purchase. “The design of the label, or do they look at the production of the wine? Do they look at the place of production of the wine,?” she says. “And then what do they do with this wine? As soon as they purchase the wine, they probably won’t drink the wine right away.”

Watrelot is a chemist who focuses on the chemical composition of wines produced in the Midwest. She says the way win is used once you get it home is an important factor. “Once you open the bottle of wine, if you don’t drink everything right away — what do you do with this wine? Do you keep it open? To have some air coming into in contact with a wine? Or do you close the wine? Do you try to remove the air? Do you store in the fridge?”

Watrelot says there are around 98 wineries in Iowa and some 250 vineyards, and the number of wineries is always increasing. She says the survey can help ensure they are moving in the right direction. “Those answers will be helpful for the grape and wine industry just to improve the winemaking practices. So trying to improve the quality during the process to make sure the wine that is provided to consumers is of high quality and will remain of high quality,” she says.

The survey is be available through February 13th.

To take the survey, visit

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