When Lil’ Wayne rapped in 2009 that he “don’t buy the bar ‘cause it don’t sell white wine,” he was speaking a generational truth, new figures from the wine industry prove.
Experts interviewed by Fox Business said millennials consume a big chunk of the nation’s wine— 27 percent of wine by volume. Not only do we drink a lot of wine, figures show that we don’t care as much about pretense or price as previous generations. (Our average wine bottle sets us back a measly $10 to $12.)
Really, the grape-stomping business is figuring out what we’ve known all along—people in their 20s do just about everything with a wine glass in hand. The only other age group that has us beat is people over 55, who consume about 41.4 percent of the industry’s product. However, “millennials”—loosely defined as people born between 1982 and 2000—have not fully reached the legal drinking age yet, so our percentages are only going to grow.
But it’s not just the incredible quantity of wine that we consume that’s making wine companies take notice of their younger patrons. It’s a shift in culture of how we look at wine versus how older people look at wine, Fox Business reported.
“Historically, wine has been marketed to older generations and came with a huge pretense,” says Melissa Saunders, owner of wine importer Communal Brands, told Fox Business. “But this generation is blowing all of that out of the water. They don’t care about the pretentiousness of a wine, they want something that is authentic and speaks to them. This is a huge marketing opportunity.”
Wine, particularly moscato, has also become more of a thing for black people, NPR’s CodeSwitch blog reported over the summer.
Danny Brager, the senior vice president of beverage/alcohol practice at Nielsen, told NPR that moscato has represented an opportunity for groups of people who previously were not big wine drinkers to become acquainted with the drink.
Moscato drinkers are:
“Much more African-American,” says Brager. “Much more Hispanic, much younger, much lower-income, much more female.”
Brager says African-Americans are three times more likely to drink moscato than some other table wine.
What do you think? Are you a wine drinker? At what age did you start?