Who's Drinking Wine? A Look at the Wine Market Council's Latest Survey
John Gillespie, president of the Wine Market Council revealed that wine consumption continued to grow through two recessions, albeit at reduced rates. In 2010, U.S. consumers downed 276 million cases of table wine. But it is the core wine drinkers that really keep the numbers high. This group, defined as those who drink wine daily, several times a week or about once a week, is about 20 percent of the population (approximately 46 million U.S. adults). This dedicated group accounts for 91 percent of all wine consumption. Marginal drinkers defined as those who drink wine less often than weekly represent 31 million U.S. adults.
Wine drinking is on the rise in the Millennial group (ages 17 to 34). Six percent are drinking wine daily, 26 percent are drinking wine several times a week, and 19 percent drink wine once a week on average. Generation X (ages 35 to 46) and Baby Boomers (ages 47 to 65) are also consuming wine more regularly. The over-65 wine drinkers have the largest proportion of daily wine drinkers, perhaps because of doctors' recommendations.
The results also reveal some interesting figures on varietals. Baby Boomers are drinking Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot and leaving behind Dry Rose and White Zinfandel or blush wines as well as drinking less Champagne and sparkling wines. Overall wine drinkers are still conscious of their wallet and looking for good value wines but there are also signs of slow growth at the mid and higher ranges.
Another intriguing part of the survey is the social media results. Two-thirds of core wine drinkers and 40 percent of marginals use the Internet to get information on wine," Gillespie said. More than half of all wine drinkers are on Facebook and 41 percent of core wine drinkers use a smart phone and, of those, 39 percent said they have wine, food or restaurant applications on their phones whereas only 25 percent of marginal drinkers use a smart phone.