Millennials and Their Wine

As of 2016, millennials (people in their 20s and early 30s) were responsible for the yearly consumption of approximately 159.6 million cases of wine, which was about half of the nation’s total consumption overall. Compared with the other generational categories in the U.S., the baby boomers drank about 30% and the Gen-Xers (those born in the 70s and 80s) drank about 20%.

The staggering amount of wine drank by millennials is actually causing a shift in how it’s produced, and which wines are becoming popular. Unlike the generations before them, millennials are concerned with not only the sustainability and environmental background of the wine but also the story and personal background of the winery.


The desire is for the more obscure bottle rather than the highly rated most well-known bottle. These days, it is actually possible for a restaurant to have a wine list that doesn’t include a Napa Cabernet, simply because that’s not what millennials are ordering.


So what is this generation drinking? Well, simply everything. Variety is the name of the game for those in their 20s, and for the older segment of this group, cost doesn’t always prohibit them either. At least 17% of wine-drinking millennials spent over twenty dollars on their bottle of wine, compared to only 10% of all wine drinkers in America.


As for varietals, Malbec, Moscato, Pinot Noir, and Sauvignon Blanc are popular, although the list certainly doesn’t stop there. Many young people are purchasing bottles from within the country’s own wine producing regions such as Oregon and Washington State, but also from abroad, such as Chile, Argentina, and South Africa.


Technology plays a large role for the wine industry these days through the obsession with social media but also through applications that help deliver and sell wine, such as Club W, which will send them bottles of wine based on specific tastes that are provided by the drinker. And of course, over 50% post about wine on Facebook, whether to discuss their own preferences or to ask for recommendations.


Millennials have credited with shaping many things, like technology, fashion, and now, the wine industry.


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