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I am frequently asked my thoughts about wine trends. These are just a few of the trends and shifts I see in the world of wine.


The sheer numbers (and their buying potential) make millennials a driving influence in the wine world. There are now more millennial adults in the United States than baby boomers: 75.4 million millennials (born between 1981-1997) versus 74.9 million baby boomers (born between 1946-1964). For comparison, there are roughly 28 million silent generation (born between 1928-1945) and 66 million Generation X (born between 1965-1980). (Sources: American Demographics classification of U.S. Census Bureau, Pew Research Center) Millennials seem to care less about vintage “wine speak” and ratings, but do want to know the story of how the wine is made. I think we will see many more brands with a “story” and packaging that stands out on retail shelves.


For many years, some of the hottest cabernet sauvignons teetered near 15 percent alcohol by volume. I think this trend is finally falling as more wine drinkers opt for sippable, lower alcohol wines. This is likely in part due to the rise in popularity of sparkling wines like Prosecco. Another bubbly may be playing a role too. With the craft beer movement, more and more wine drinkers are aware of the enjoyment of leisurely sipping, rather than catching a buzz quickly with a high alcohol drink.


According to the 2015 Wine Market Council report, women buyers made up 57 percent of wine sales. The data from the report also shed light on the possibility what women may be looking for in a bottle of wine: impulse purchase; label design; organic; and, as trending will hold true, a brand benefiting a cause.


I recently wrote a column on blending wines. Not too long ago, blends were considered inferior. But thankfully this is changing. Blends are becoming more popular and there are many quality blends from which to choose. The red blend category grew “10.1 percent in sales” from the 2015 Wine Market Council report. Again, taking a note from the craft beer movement, I think “handcrafted” and “premium” are buzzwords we will see more of on wine labels.


With all things trending, social media will continue to affect our buying habits. By taking advantage of hashtags and photo filters, wine makers are leveraging the screens in front of us to make consumers feel like they are part of the story.