An intriguing article by Sarah Brown on the results of a survey titled “WineGlass Marketing Wine Consumer Usage and Attitudes Survey” was published on Wine Business. The survey involved 1,613 U.S. wine consumers; 771 Millennials (ages 28-42) and 842 Gen X (ages 43-59).

Millennials and Gen X: less clubs, more freedom

While the wine industry scrambles to catch up with new generations using outdated strategies, the study conducted by WineGlass Marketing in collaboration with Quest Mindshare has cast a provocative light on the reality of wine consumption among Millennials and Gen X in the USA, debunking many stereotypes and outlining a radically different vinicultural future.

Read also: Wine Club? Young people now want subscriptions

Who drinks wine today?

Contrary to the common belief that new generations are disinterested in wine, 42% of Millennials and 38% of Gen X claim to drink wine two to three times a week. Not only that, but these percentages represent a steady or even increased consumption compared to the previous year. The biggest surprise? They are not satisfied with “cheap wine”. Millennials are willing to spend $40 or more on a bottle of wine, challenging the notion that they are less affluent or frugal than their predecessors.

A new model of Wine Club

80% of Gen X and 63% of Millennials stated that they do not participate in any wine clubs. The reasons? A lack of variety and control, along with excessive financial commitment. These findings prompt reflection: it’s time for wine clubs to reinvent themselves to accommodate the freedom and financial flexibility desired by these generations.

Read also: The role of women in wine tourism: a growing trend

Vacation yes, education no

The research also highlighted a shift in interest towards less formal and more relaxing wine experiences. 20%-25% of regular wine consumers have never visited a winery, often due to prohibitive distances and a busy schedule. However, when they do visit, Millennials and Gen X seek a relaxed atmosphere, enjoying informal tastings, tours of production, and live entertainment. Their search is for pleasure and conviviality, not lessons on tannins and terroir.

Towards a sustainable and digital future

Online presence becomes crucial: wine advice among friends, Google searches, and social media are now standard practice for these generations. Susan DeMatei, president and owner of WineGlass Marketing, urges wineries to improve their digital presence to reach a broader and more diverse audience.

In conclusion, while the wine industry may seem anchored to traditional and elitist models, Millennials and Gen X are writing new rules for the wine game. With an annual expenditure that is unmatched and a thirst for authentic and relaxed experiences, it is clear that to thrive, the industry must listen—and more importantly, understand—these profound changes.