The Future of Wine
No doubt if you’ve been looking at the wine stories that have been running across the wires in the last couple of days you will have seen the release of sales figures for California wine. The news is good. Sales are up for California wine. What’s interesting about the story is the way a prominent wine industry analyst describes the condition of the market for California wine:
“Wine is enjoying this wonderful moment of very favorable attitudes,”
said industry consultant Jon Fredrikson, who compiled the figures
released Monday by the San Francisco-based Wine Institute."
"Wine is enjoying this wonderful moment of very favorable attitudes."
Is it merely a moment? Or is it simply a snapshot of the state of the market that has something more in mind?
I think it is the latter. In fact, I think the capacity of the American consumer to take to wine is far greater than what we are seeing even during this "wonderful moment"
America, since the repeal of Prohibition in 1933, could never be called a "wine drinking country." This has always been, and remains, a beer and spirits drinking country. The significance of this is that there remains a ceiling on American wine consumption that we are not even close to bumping up against.
Wine’s Diversity of Flavors
Americans are just not beginning to get a hint at the value of wine as it compares to, say, beer. To begin with wine comes in a myriad of flavors…far far more than beer. This is an important factor to note when you consider that we are becoming a nation of people that defines themselves by the consumer choices we make. Wine provides more room for defining ourselves.
The Growing Mythology of Wine
Add to this the room that remains for wine to be mythologized as one of the remaining authentic pursuits of the green-minded individual, a pursuit that becomes attractive to more and more people every day. As wine becomes even further viewed as a source of authenticity, it becomes more attractive to consumers who want to experience something real, rather than manufactured.
Millennial Mommies and Daddies
And of course, there is the demographic factors that are in wine’s favor. The millennials have taken up wine faster than probably any generation before them due in large part to their parents, the baby boomers, being the first American generation to adopt wine in to their lifestyle. There is no reason to believe the Millennial mothers and fathers won’t have the same in not greater influence on their children.
What we have here is far more than a "moment". What we have here is a beginning of something very very big.