The annual “State of the Wine Industry” report has just been released, and it’s given us some insightful predictions about the future of our good friend, vino. Don’t worry, vino isn’t going anywhere, but we will certainly see changes in its price, selection, and origin. Released by Silicon Valley Bank (SVB), the report has one alarming calculation: this year is the first drop in US wine consumption in the last 20 years. That’s right. We’re not drinking enough wine, and many vineyards are failing because of it. Rob McMillan, the founder of SVB’s Wine Division, gave some of his own insights to explain this strange occurrence.
One of his observations is the fact that those in the boomer generation are purchasing wines with lower alcohol content. They would rather buy two bottles whose alcohol levels are 12 than buy one whose alcohol level is 15. Since this generation has the most purchasing power, a lot of boozy wines aren’t getting much attention.
Rob McMillan also predicts that red blends will become the new “go to” for millennials. Instead of buying a single varietal, like a Merlot or a Zinfandel, red blends are a lot more attractive. Maybe some millenials don’t have enough confidence to bet all of their weekend alcohol money on just one type of wine. Red blends often seem like a safer option if you’re buying for more than one person.
Apparently, millenials are also beginning to experiment with wines a little on the pricey side. The report predicts that the average price for red blends has increased from $8 to $14. Meanwhile, many untouched, cheap wines are wasting away on the liquor store shelves. McMillan says that no one cares about wines as cheap as $1.99. Millenials see wine that cheap as either vinegar or a hangover in a bottle.
Sadly, vineyards that sell ridiculously cheap wine will soon be lost, and we can also say goodbye to jug wine. Popular in the 60s, jug wine would be sold as “premium” but “bargained” wine. People used to fill them up at wineries and use them for parties. Now, jug wine has lost its appeal. Boomers weren’t as picky about their wine choices, but millenials find jug wine somewhat dubious. One great prediction for this year’s wine trends is the increase of foreign bottled wines. If the dollar keeps going up, we will see less domestic production and a lot more wine coming in from overseas.