U.S. Wine Drinkers Double

Staff Writer
Boomers are still the biggest segment, buying one of every four bottles.

Photo Sasabune Omakase Modified: Flickr/erin/CC 4.0

Core wine drinkers — those Americans who imbibe at least once a week — have doubled in number since 2000, which means that today one in every five adults regularly drinks wine, whether they chug-a-jug, savor Champagne, or sip something in between.

Those findings, and a lot more, come from the Chicago-based Wine Market Council’s just-released annual report.

“The biggest trend over the past year is that even though consumers continue to ‘trade down’ or look for value in their wine purchases, wine consumption continues to grow, both in overall consumption and per-capita consumption,” says council president John Gillespie. “Consumers are still buying over $20 wines, but less frequently than in the past, and they are saying that many ‘value’ wines they buy are of remarkably good quality.”

And Baby Boomers have found that going into retirement does not have to be a sobering experience — they are buying one out of every four bottles sold. Nevertheless, Gillespie says, “The continuing market growth is being driven by the younger consumer segment — Millennials and Gen Xers — who continue to raise their wine consumption frequency.”

Other interesting facts, listed in Lettermanian fashion:

10. About 276 million cases of table wine were consumed last year.

9. American wine consumption grew for the 17th straight year in 2011, up .9%.

8. People over 65 find a reason to drink daily — 12%, a larger percentage than in any other segment.

7. Among all wine consumers, 57% are core, or at least weekly, drinkers.

6. Daily wine drinkers are up 80% over 2000.

5. Two-thirds of wine drinkers use Facebook, some describing online every bottle they consume.

4. Among core drinkers, 64% use the Web to get some of their wine info.

3. Of those core drinkers who own smart phones, 39% have wine or food-related apps.

2. Baby Boomers are drinking more California and less French and German than when they were younger.

1. Boomers’ preferred wines are Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, although, according to the study, most admit they once drank white Zinfandels and blushes but still adamantly deny doing so.  

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