If you read Lettie Teague’s recent WSJ column entry, titled How Millennials Are Changing Wine, you will find some interesting data suggesting that Millennials are not, in fact, changing wine nearly as much as many of us think that they are.
First, you’ll have to wade through polemics such as the opening quote from New York sommelier Jason Jacobeit, who decries his generation’s focus on feeling connected to a brand when it comes to purchasing wine: “A lot of mediocre wine is being sold on the basis of a story.”
I’ve got news for you, Jason: “a lot” is too subjective a term (a lot of money to me, for example, isn’t a lot of money to Bill Gates), and “mediocre” even more so, but based on what we know from real wine sales numbers, a lot of wine that we might generously call “so-so” or “mind-numbingly-boring” is sold to every generation of wine drinkers, in volumes that far eclipse what we might collectively think of as higher quality – or at least more interesting – vino.
Back to Teague’s WSJ piece: I’d also advise you to skip the latter section of the article, in which Lettie recounts a tasting with a “mini-focus group” of millennial wine drinkers. Given that this group consisted of “two men and two women ranging in age from 25 to 32,” it’s laughably dangerous from a statistical standpoint to draw any conclusions whatsoever on millennial wine drinking habits from the results of their conversation.
The real meat of the WSJ article lies in the sneak peek that it gives to an August Wine Opinions study of 2,634 wine drinkers, spanning in age groups from Millennial to Gen X to Baby Boomer. Through that study’s results, we get some fascinating insights into how U.S. wine drinkers actually approach buying their wine…