“Americans consumed 324 million cases of wine in 2012. That’s a 7.7 percent increase over five years ago.”
That according to Impact Databank, and via an interesting article in Wine Spectator (Forecasting Wine’s Future) that suggests the U.S. will shape the future of the wine market for some time to come.
And, increasingly, the influencers will be found within the younger generation.
“While Baby Boomers and Generation Xers make up the majority of today’s wine consumers, the large Millennial generation (ages 21 to 34) will shape wine’s future.”
Per wine writer Ben O’Donnell, there’s a few trends driving the market.
One is the end of the “two-color palette.” That is, consumers think about wine less frequently in terms of red and white bifurcation. The interest in Dry Rose (pink stuff – we’re doomed) and sparkling wine (better, but please let’s end the Moscato craze already) are cited as two reasons for blurring the lines.
Another: younger buyers tend to look for imports, and “are exploring new options like Portugal more, they’re reaching for California less.” New Zealand and Argentina are the top two beneficiaries, with wine sales up 106% and 44% respectively.
Ah, a blend!
Blends are regarded “more highly” now, which means buyers are more likely to experiment with single grape varieties.
It will be interesting to see how this blend trend plays out. Trends come and go. Ultimately, my suspicion is, that much like football, it was always comes back to fundamentals. The basics. The tried and true. On the gridiron, that means basic tackling and blocking; running the ball; and a short high-percentage passing game. In the vineyard that means grapes that have stood the test of time: Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling. The more things change, the more they stat the same, no?
Points vs. Social Media
One key aspect perhaps missing from Spectator’s crystal ball was that of buying influencers. Do points (such as Robert Parker’s famous/infamous 100-point system) move markets still? Or, as we’re hearing more about these days, is social media driving buying decisions?
[Wine Spectator – Forecasting Wine’s Future]
I’ll be at a Napa trade tasting on the water in San Francisco today, which will be held during the Louis Vuitton Cup Semi-Finals. Look for an update soon on the wines, the race, and … the unexpected. Stark Insider. Let the show begin.