In 2006 the Irish wine market was growing rapidly along with its Celtic Tiger economy (Euromonitor, 2008). Total wine sales in Ireland more than quadrupled in the seventeen-year span from 1990 to 2007 (Geraghty and Torres, 2009). While wine consumption in Ireland was growing at a rapid rate, US consumption was growing, but at a slower rate. (Euromonitor, 2010). According to Moran, Ireland’s increased consumption of wine was due primarily to improved accessibility, affordability, and branding of wine. Geraghty and Torres conducted research in Galway Ireland in 2006 among 307 wine consumers and identified three clusters of wine consumers in Ireland: the casual wine buyer, the value seeking wine buyer, and the wine traditionalist (Geraghty , 2009). These clusters provided insight into the consumers behind the increase in wine consumption. The recent recession however, has caused the wine sector in Ireland to plummet (Euromonitor, 2010).
The purpose of this research was to compare the California market consumers to the consumers in the Irish market that was growing at a rapid rate to identify similarities and differences in the factors that impact wine demand in the two countries.