Sooner or later it was bound to happen. As W. Blake Gray writes:
If you are a Gen Xer who is tired of hearing about the wine industry’s never ending pursuit of Millennials, here’s good news: Gen-Xers are wine’s most important customers. And, surprisingly, refusing-to-go-quietly Baby Boomers aren’t far behind.
Young adults aren’t drinking much wine and the rest of us are not ready to pack it in yet, according to Wine Intelligence COO Richard Halstead.
The wine industry’s pursuit of Millennials and younger generations was based on sound logic. They are the future of the industry and remain so. But they aren’t quite ready yet to support the industry with their purchases.
Getting into wine in a way that creates dedicated, enthusiastic customers takes time and money. Wine is relatively expensive compared to other beverages and to really enjoy its nuances you have to learn something about it and gain experience. For young people early in their careers and raising young families, time and money are in short supply. Other beverages are more convenient.
Wine was never going to be the beverage everyone wants to take to the beach or chug at the bar. Sure you can put wine in cans and get cute with edgy marketing but that isn’t the essence of wine. It isn’t the best use of wine. Wine is about quiet dinners with friends, good conversation, and perhaps some contemplation. Wine makes you think about what you’re drinking.
I suspect younger folks will eventually discover wines’ virtues but while the industry waits for the scales to fall from their eyes, the rest of us will hang around as long as possible.