News you can talk about & Trends you can watch


Who is Drinking the Most Wine?


February 12, 2016 – Anyone over 38 knows Millennials rule.  Or at the very least, that they are very different from the generations that preceded them – Generation X, Boomers and everyone over 69 who we will label Seasoned Citizens.

We reported on January 29 that the wine category was doing well Now we know more details based on The Wine Market Council’s research for 2015. If you are in the wine industry, or simply want to see wine flourish and become a normal part of our culture, it is very encouraging.

A look at the numbers tells a fascinating story of growth.  There are 79 million Millennials aged 21-38; 49 million Gen-Xers aged 39-50; 75 million Boomers aged 51-69; and eight million Seasoned Citizens who are 70-plus.  One third of the country professes to be teetotalers.

When it comes to consumption by each group, Millennials comprise 36 percent of all wine drinkers, Boomers 34 percent, Gen Xers 18 percent and Seasoned Citizens 12 percent.

Other highlights shared in the Wine Market Council’s press release explained the growth of wine drinking:

  • Since 2000, the high frequency wine drinker segment (defined as those who consume wine several times per week or daily) has more than doubled – from 7.6% of all U.S. LDA (legal drinking age) adults in 2000 to 13% in 2015.
  • From 2000 – 2005, occasional wine drinkers (defined as those who consume wine once a week or less) surged from 18% to 26% of all U.S. LDA adults. This was driven by a drop in non-adopter adults (those who drink beer and/or spirits but not wine) from 33% of the legal drinking age population to 24%.
  • Between 2005 and 2010, there was a surge in high frequency wine drinkers from 7.9% to 13.9% of the LDA population, driven by the Millennials. This also accounted for a decline in the occasional wine drinker population from 26.2% to 20.3%

We also learn that more women than men drink wine accounting for 57 percent of wine volume.  They also plan their purchases and are more willing to try new things.

Millennials graze across all categories of wine, spirits and beer, but four percent drink wine only.  Young women in particular named wine their preferred drink.

We’ve also heard from many sources that drinkers are trading up.  Wines priced below $9.00 are slumping but Trader Joe’s one billion bottles of “Two Buck Chuck” gives lie to the statistic.