Millenials and Wine
Millennials are drinking the most wine in the World

Wine geeks were shocked. Heck, everyone who knows anything about wine was shocked. Wine is an acquired taste, so it stands to reason that younger people would be lower on the wine consumption scale than their “more mature” counterparts. Meaning old people drink more wine.

But no. A while back, the wine world was rocked to the core by a report by the Wine Market Council that detailed who’s drinking wine and what they’re pouring into their glasses. Surprise! The biggest consumers of wine are not Baby Boomers or even Gen X’ers. They’re Millennials.

Yes, Millennials. You know, the face-in-their-smartphones 20- to 30-somethings. Apparently, they consume a whopping 42% of the wine sold in the US.

Side note: the statistic that blew my mind? Seems they consume 159.6 million cases in total, which boils down to only about 2 cases a year each. So now I’m a little self-conscious about how much I personally consume, because, that seems a little on the light side. No? Just me?

Moving on.

So, big deal, Millennials like wine. Right? That’s a good thing. They’re the group with the most buying power in the US. That means a strong future for the wine biz.

Ah, yes, but let’s bear in mind the fact that Millennials don’t think like everyone who came before them. They’re not impressed by luxury and their brand loyalty is fleeting.

No, the group drinking the most wine in the US likes things fresh, new, hip, trendy. They’re more moved by a good story than by a long history. They drink what their friends tell them to drink, not what some expert in a suit has deemed “good.”

Oh, and they like things that look good on Instagram. Think funny labels and trendy names.

It’s not all scary news though. Apparently Millennials have good taste, so trendy and catchy isn’t enough to keep them drinking something bad. That means that what’s in those eye-catching bottles probably won’t offend anyone’s palate. Phew!

But it does mean that the wine scene is changing and will change more as the years progress. Wine companies are going to have to stay on their social media toes to keep these new drinkers interested and keyed in. Apps like Vivino and Delectable are going to keep popping up that allow drinkers to recommend wines to friends. And the wine lists in your favorite restaurants are going to show a heck of a lot fewer Chateaux Anythings and a lot more wines and wine varietals that you’ve never heard of before.

For many wine aficionados it’s a little off-putting to have an age-old institution shaken up like this. But hey, the TV and music industries have been going through much of the same upheaval and it’s looking like that might work out for the better. We can only hope the same is true for wine.


~ Kay Syrah

Wine Country Guru Gal

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