To those about to drink…we salute you!

We are in fact in the midst of a wine boomlet. There are a number of things impressive about this little boom too.

The first is that it comes not during the greatest of economic times. Things aren’t terrible, but it sure isn’t 1999. Much of the consumption boom comes from the availability of lower prices wine for sure.

However, the most impressive element of the boomlet is the involvement of the Millenials. According to research, Millenials drinkers are defined as those aged, roughly, 18 – 27 years old. They are adopting wine at a much faster pace than nearly any generation before them. Nearly 40% of this group are considered “Core” wine drinkers. And among male Milenials, over 50% are core wine drinkers. This is significant because it had been females who traditionally drank more wine than men.

Again, the Millenials are able to drink more wine at their age due in part to lower prices for wine. But we also can’t ignore the “culture of taste” that they have grown up with. Over the past ten years or so food products that are organic, regional and much more exotic than in the past have emerged as considerably important elements in the market place. The Millenials have grown up with them, are comfortable with them and through their exposure to them Millenials are much more comfortable trying different foods and experiencing different tastes.

Yet, all is not happy faces in winedom. In a survey of Millenials in Sonoma County, a very progressive wine region where over 45% are core wine drinkers, this group was asked to describe wine they responded: “expensive,” “snobby,” “way too serious,” “natural,” “old guys,” “white” and “confusing.”

I’ve always believed their is room for snobbery and elitism and seriousness when it comes to things like food, wine and the arts. These attitudes are the perquisites for serious contemplation of any subject. Yet, for wine to become far more widely appreciated and for the boomlet to turn into a certified boom, we descriptors of wine much different than “expensive, snobby and “old guys”.

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