The Cultural Consecration of Australian Wines

Sociology and Anthropology Seminar Series

School of Humanities and Social Science,
The University of Newcastle

2010, Semester 1

Held in the Cultural Collections (near the Information Common)
Level 2, Auchmuty Library, Callaghan Campus

Thursday, 25 March 2010
3pm – 4.30pm followed by afternoon tea

Professor Michael P. Allen

Michael P. Allen

Michael P. Allen

Washington State University

Research Interests:

Sociology of Culture, Political Sociology, Organizational Sociology.

Selected Publications:

  • Critical Discourse and the Cultural Consecration of American Films. Social Forces (2004). With Anne E. Lincoln.
  • Double Jeopardy in Hollywood: Gender and Age Effects on the Careers of Film Actors. Sociological Forum (2004). With Anne E. Lincoln.
  • The Institutionalization of Fame: Achievement, Recognition, and Consecration in Baseball. American Sociological Review (2006). With Nicholas A. Parsons

Judging Taste and Creating Value: The Cultural Consecration of Australian Wines

Michael Allen
John Germov


This research examines the procedural and substantive legitimacy of the Australian capital city wine show system as a cultural consecration project. The analysis is based on the ratings of 5,654 wines by judges at four capital city wine shows in 2007. Large wineries are more likely to enter wines into these competitions than small wineries. In general, there is a moderate degree of agreement between judges in terms of the medals awarded to wines entered into multiple competitions. Disagreement among the judges was most pronounced in the distinctions between different medal classes and much less pronounced between wines that received medals and those that did not. The analysis confirms that wines that won medals, especially gold and silver, commanded higher release prices than other wines. The results generally confirm the legitimacy of the capital city wine show system as a means of assigning symbolic as well as economic value to premium wines. Future research will examine the relationship of this domestic consecration project to foreign consecration projects within the global wine industry.

One thought on “The Cultural Consecration of Australian Wines

  1. Pingback: Sociology and Anthropology Seminar Series « UoN Cultural Collections

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