Millennial Wine Drinkers

August 17, 2011: Millennial Wine Drinkers

Who do you picture when you think of typical wine drinkers? To me, sipping wine has always seemed a fairly sophisticated activity. You know, people in their 40s or older, discussing their day, their investments and their next cruise over a bottle of red.

Well, I’m wrong. According to this article in Bloomberg Businessweek, the group most of us think is downing beer-the Millennials-is embracing wine. In fact, 21- to 34-year-olds are the fastest-growing segment of wine drinkers in the country.

The article is focused on big winemakers like Constellation Brands, the country’s second largest vintner with brands like Ravenswood and Robert Mondavi, and its embrace of social media as a new way to market wine. The company has successfully used Twitter and Facebook to build buzz for its brands, especially among Millennials.

Bloomberg Businessweek reports that Constellation has increased its digital marketing 150 percent to capture Millennials’ attention. Something must be working, since more than 40 percent of Millennials drank more wine last year than they did the year before.

While you may not be a big (or small)winemaker, this trend has the potential to impact a number of different businesses. If you own (or want to open) a restaurant or bar, you’ll want to make sure you have plenty of wine to serve your younger customers. Be sure to learn the types of wine they prefer. Constellation was able to turn around the sales of Arbor Mist, a brand previously in decline, using Facebook. Arbor Mist, which is a sparkling fruit wine, is now the most popular wine brand on Facebook.

But Millennials are also the generation that is now graduating college, moving into their first apartments, buying their first homes and settling down. They not only are buying wine, but they’re also purchasing the accessories that go with it. This affects home d├ęcor retailers. Fancy (and fanciful) wine charms, stoppers, glasses and other accessories are only the start of what could become a lucrative business, since there millions of Millennials who are not yet of legal drinking age.