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Orange Coast Winery

Douglas Wiens
December 6, 2017 | Douglas Wiens

By the Numbers: Who’s Drinking the Most Wine These Days?

three women drinking wine and laughing

Millennials and women are the new wave in wine drinkers

Anyone connected with the wine industry can rest assured that wine is not going anywhere. In fact, sales have risen in the last few years, to the tune of $32 billion spent annually.

A study published by the Wine Market Council, a non-profit association of grape producers, importers, wholesalers, retailers and other wine-related businesses, recently looked at wine drinking habits. The findings make it clear that wine is not only still popular, but gaining strength. The study revealed a couple of interesting new trends …

There are basically two words to remember when it comes to wine drinking trends: Millennials and Women.

Trend #1: Millennials and wine

First, look at the numbers regarding wine consumption by generation:

Millennials (age 21 – 38) = 42%

Baby Boomers (age 51 – 69) = 30%

Gen-X (39 – 50) = 20%

Silent Generation (70+) = 8%

Millennials now drink more wine than any other generation, and look at this:

  • Millennials drank 159.6 million cases of wine in 2015, an average of 2 cases apiece
  • 30% of those who consume wine several times per week (aka high-frequency drinkers) were Millennials
  • Between 2005 and 2010, there was a surge in high frequency drinkers from 7.9% to 13.9%, driven by the Millennials

Part of the growth has to do with the fact that the youngest Millennials are now finally over the legal drinking age of 21. That means the entire generation is free to indulge when they want.

It’s not just volume when it comes to Millennial wine habits

Millennial drinking habits and trends are different from other groups as well. Millennials have more eclectic and varied tastes than any other generation before, eschewing bottles from traditional wine-producing regions like California. “At least 30% of high-frequency, wine-drinking millennials said they had bought wine from domestic wineries like Washington and Oregon, and overseas countries like Chile, Argentina, Germany, Portugal, Spain, and South Africa over the last three months.”

Millennials also seem to have more expensive taste, as 17% have paid over $20 for a bottle of wine.

Trend #2: Women like wine … a lot

Take a look at your Facebook or Instagram feed and notice of all the memes having to do with wine. You might also notice that many of them are posted or shared by women. That’s because women drink more wine than men, often by a wide margin.

  • Women accounted for 57% of wine volume in 2015, compared to 43% of men
  • Highly involved female wine drinkers are mostly Millennials, are more often urban educated professionals, and are more ethnically diverse than the typical female wine drinker

If you want to drill down further, younger millennial women are the top trend in wine consumption. In fact, two-thirds of high-frequency wine drinkers under age 30 are women, according to a 2015 study.

The buying habits of women seem to be driven by a few interesting trends as well:

  • Women are more likely to buy wine labeled as “organic” or “sustainably-produced”
  • 51% of women age 21-24 and 38% of total women say this is important.
  • Women are also drawn to labels
  • Female wine drinkers rated “traditional, classic, and sophisticated” labels more intriguing than other types of labels
  • Women are more likely to buy a wine they’ve never tried before based on the label or a recommendation rather than buy a wine they’ve only read about

Based on the new findings, it’s clear that wine is here to stay and that millennials – especially millennial women – are the driving force in its rising popularity.

Regardless of trends, Orange Coast Winery sees wine lovers in every generation, gender, and just about every other demographic. Simply put, the love of a great wine is universal. To find the perfect wine for your next dinner party or event, visit Orange Coast Winery (online or in-person) and review our selection of fine wines for every price range and palate.


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