Nearly a quarter of US wine consumers are "overwhelmed" by the broad selection available at US retail, according to a study released by Constellation Wines US.

The study, released late last week as part of the company's Project Genome, grouped 23% of consumers as overwhelmed, though they like to drink wine and are looking for more easily understood information in retail settings.

Other groups characterised by the study: 20% were Image Seekers, discovering wine and viewing it as a status symbol; Traditionalists (16%) who favour established brand names; Satisfied Sippers (14%) who like wine but don't know much about it; and Enthusiasts (12%) who browse stores, read wine publications and are influenced by ratings and reviews.

The new study examined the purchases of 10,000 consumers who purchased wine selling for US$5 and above over 18 months. Purchases were tracked and surveyed by the Nielsen Co.