If you are a millennial (aged roughly 21 to 38) I want to toast you – you are powering the United States’ wine market and thus one reason I can find more and better wine on retail shelves when I go shopping.
A study published January 25 by the Wine Market Council declares that millennials are the largest segment of the wine market, accounting for 42 percent of wine consumption last year, while the previous market leading generation, the baby boomers (aged 51 to 69), slipped to 34 percent and Gen X-ers accounted for just 18 percent of wine consumption. These are just dry numbers, but they tell an interesting story and give our population the appearance of an alcohol donut with two generations very wine oriented and the generation in the middle relatively wine-free.
This poses some interesting challenges for wine marketers and makes for some interesting deals for those of us who do consume wine. I was particularly taken with a statistic that floated behind the big numbers – the amount of “wine per session.” That’s a tech-speak way of measuring how much a wine drinker consumes at a meal, an “instance of consumption.” Millennial drinkers consume 3.1 glasses “per session,” while the boomers only consumed 1.8 glasses. Surprisingly, that donut-hole generation, the Gen X-ers, is consuming 2.4 glasses “per session,” so they are drinking less wine overall than their parents, but consuming more when they do drink.
I realize this is all a bit geeky and you might wonder what impact this has on you as a happy wine consumer. Here’s the bottom line for all of us who love wine – the fact that wine consumption is going up in the United States is a trend many wine producing countries envy (wine consumption continues to fall in France, for example). According to Guillaume Deglise, CEO of Vinexpo in a conversation with The Drinks Business magazine, “The US remains the leading wine consuming country in the world.” What this means is we will continue to see a broad selection of wine available and a lot of competition which, one hopes, will mean good deals.
The best way to take advantage of our success as a wine market is to keep tasting, and the best place to do that is a walk-around tasting like the one we will feature at Merrick Park on October 6 as part of VeritageMiami. Here you can taste hundreds of wines; well, there will be hundreds of wines there – you may not get around to tasting all of them but I know you’ll get a good selection!
Stay tuned for more details as we get closer to October, and our next VeritageMiami!