It’s official: millennials love wine! On December 31, 2015, the youngest of the millennial generation turned 21 years old — legal drinking age in the United States. This legion of 79 million American millennials has had quite an impact on wine sales last year.
Millennials love their wine so much that, according to a recent survey by the Wine Market Council, they drink more of the beverage than any other age group in the entire country. The millennial generation — now between the ages of 21 and 38 years old — accounted for 42 percent of all the wine drunk in the States in 2015. That’s a whopping 159.6 million cases of wine, or an average of two cases of wine per person.
Every year the Wine Market Council surveys what they call “high frequency” drinkers — which they define as someone who consumes wine “several times per week or daily” — because the high frequency wine drinkers account for roughly 90 percent of all wine consumed in the U.S. In their 2015 survey, millennials accounted for 30 percent of their total high frequency drinkers. Baby Boomers make up 38 percent of high frequency drinkers, and Gen Xers roughly 20 percent.
Though baby boomers took the trend for high frequency drinkers, Wine Inspector reports, millennials tend to be more open with their wallets when it comes to a good bottle of wine than the older generations are. The survey found that 17 percent of all millennial wine drinkers bought a bottle of wine costing more than $20 in the past month, compared to only 10 percent of all drinkers, and 5 percent of Baby Boomers.
Another thing that makes millennials stand out when it comes to wine is their need for variety. The newest trend that millennials have latched onto is the desire to try wines from more “new-world” wine producers like Chile, South Africa, and Argentina, rather than the old staple from Californian vineyards. In fact, California was the only place that baby boomers topped millennials in their wine region of choice. Millennials, says Courtney Quattrini of wine app Vivino, prefer variety when it comes to their beverages.
“We are definitely seeing fast growth for other regions. We know millennials are less brand agnostic and like options and variety.”
The survey also found that the majority of wine drinkers — whether millennials or otherwise — were women, having accounted for 57 percent of all wine consumed in 2015. Many of these millennial women, between the ages of 21 and 24, said that sustainability and organic ingredients were important factors when choosing a bottle of wine, proving that making choices that are good for the environment are of great import to a vast number of millennials.
“51% of females 21-24 say organic or sustainably-produced products are important when making their purchase decision for wine, while 38% of total females (vs 32% of males) say it’s important for wine.”
In the age of smartphones and fast-as-lighting technology, the millennial generation are used to having everything at their fingertips. Naturally, there are some tech-savvy wine connoisseurs out there who decided to pair the two, so of course, there’s an app for that. What’s “that” you ask? Well, anything you could think of, really. Download the app Delectable to share snapshots of your wine of the week, or to browse pictures of what others are drinking. NBC calls it the “Instagram for wine lovers.” If you’re in the mood for a nice bottle of red, but can’t be bothered to get out of your Grumpy Cat PJs, not to worry: download Drizly, and someone will bring your favorite liquor store fare right to your front door. Don’t forget to tip your driver! Finally, there’s VinoCellar, an app that, you guessed it, helps you organize your wine cellar. So download away, but remember to drink responsibly.
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[Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images]