Somethings Going On…

""Something is going on and that’s wine getting traction in mainstream
American life. Once we’ve gotten this going, we will continue to see

-Jon Fredrikson, Wine Industry Analyst-

Yes, indeed. But what IS going on? Frederickson notes the impact of the movie "Sideways", the Supreme Court decision, "favorable demographics" and "a more positive public image for wine."

But just to confirm that more wine is being drunk in the U.S, it’s best to look at per capita consumption rates:

1970: 1.31 gallons    1980: 2.11 gallons  1997: 1.95 gallons   2004: 2.4 gallons

OK…that’s settled.

Certainly "Sideways" had an impact. However, I’m not sure the Supreme Court decision has led to an increase in direct shipping. We just don’t have the numbers in. It’s this last notion, that wine has "a more positive public image", which has some very interesting implications.

What is not mentioned but which might be what Fredrikson is talking about is the relationship between wine and health that is driving the movement toward more consumption. For a decade or more, since 60 Minutes" announced that the French have fewer heart problems because they drink red wine, we’ve been barraged with more and more news stories of the various ways wine improves one’s health. Hell, you could argue that wine is the miracle drug of the late 20th century.

At some point, this kind of information covers or removes many a stigma that is associate with alcohol consumption. And, it would lead to a long term increase in wine consumption.

Wineries knew this a LONG time ago. It wasn’t too long after the news of wine’s health benefits appeared in the media that the wine industry geared up to spread the news. Of course, the government and other "organizations" did all they could to put a stop to wineries saying nearly anything about the health benefits of wine under penalty of law.

Still, the news got out, didn’t it.

Posted In: Wine Business


2 Responses

  1. jens at cincinnati wine warehouse - February 1, 2006

    Another influence is the notion that with the overall negatives of alcohol consumption (driving and the “just say no” messages — off topic, but one of the funniest comments I have heard was when a twenty-something daughter said to her Dad, “Oh Dad, you were in the “Just Say Yes” generation!”), it is OK to drink/taste wine while to sit around and consume 20 beers is not OK. Also, if one is going to drink less, then it makes sense to drink more interesting libations that are also not high proof. This is just my observation and rationale!

  2. Randy - February 2, 2006

    I don’t know if we are drinking more wine but we are definately drinking better. And a new generation is benefiting from our good taste. I was talking to a young liquor store sales clerk who explained it this way. Our parents went through a progresive phase from white zinfandel to better wines and craft beers. As they became more affluent and sophisticated their tastes were elevated too. We, Their sons and daughters, benefited from from their experience. We inherited their aquired tastes. There is a whole new generation that will never experience White Zin, Lambrusco, Metus or Blue Nun.

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