Beyond the Slump: A Fresh Outlook on Wine's Future - Order Wine Online

Beyond the Slump: A Fresh Outlook on Wine's Future

2024 年 Apr 13 日Michael Bozzelli

Hey there, w̶h̶a̶t̶'̶s̶ ̶y̶o̶u̶r̶ ̶n̶a̶m̶e̶ wine enthusiasts, casual sippers, and Facebook wine group members! If you've been following the buzz lately, you might have heard some gloomy forecasts about the future of the wine industry. As a wine retailer who  devours industry news along with literature from suppliers, the future for wine is bleak. Statistically, this past year was the softest wine market since 1991. Hence, I had plenty of time to read.

But why did I have all this time to bury my nose in silk paper leaflets and brochures from winemakers? (Don't worry, my nose got to know wines on an olfactory level too. I smell acacia!) I was finding myself reading more about vines planted on the steepest sides of Howell Mountain because Boomers are moving on, and Gen Z's hardly drink, and if they do, they are drinking non-alcoholic beverages. But to paraphrase Mark Twain, rumors of the demise of wine may be exaggerated. So hold on to your stemware because we are going to take a closer look.

Sure, it's true that millennials and Gen Z aren't hitting the wine aisles with the same fervor (I wanted to say vigor but then I thought they are saving the vigor for Tinder) as their predecessors. Instead, they're often opting for trendy cocktails/mocktails or craft beers. And hey, that's totally cool! We all have our preferences, right?

But here's the thing: let's not hit the panic button just yet. Remember when our boomer friends were kicking back with their beers and hard liquor in their younger days? Fast forward a bit, and what do we see? They're now the ones savoring every sip of a Washington State Merlot or debating the nuances of a Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon. This is why I appreciated the insight of third-generation leader of Delicato Family Wines, Chris Indelicato, who, in an interview with the drinks business.  When asked about the perceived generational threat to the wine industry. “Did young people ever drink wine in their 20s?” he quipped before matter-of-factly answering, “They never did, but they will start drinking [wine as they get older].” 

So, what's the problem? Well, it's all about perspective and timing. Just like our boomer buddies, as millennials and Gen Z-ers mature and their tastes evolve, we're likely to see a shift towards wine appreciation.

Think about it: as we navigate through different stages of life, our palates often change too. Risking sounding like a somm, they become erudite. What once seemed too sophisticated or acquired a taste might suddenly become appealing and even intriguing. It's the natural ebb and flow of preferences.

Plus, let's not forget the magic of social influence and cultural shifts. With wine culture becoming more accessible and diverse, thanks to things like social media and educational resources (MY BLOG!), there's ample opportunity for younger generations to explore and embrace the world of wine.

So, here's the bottom line: while it's easy to get caught up in the doom and gloom of headlines—for the media, the worst, the better—let's take a step back and consider the bigger picture. The wine industry might be experiencing a bit of a lull right now, but that doesn't mean it's destined for decline. As millennials and Gen Z-ers mature and discover a Napa Cab that hits right out of the bottle, we may very well witness a renaissance in the industry. (Attention key account managers:  time to toss all the hard seltzer point of sale away.) So, whether you're a seasoned oenophile or just dipping your nose into the wine world, trust that the future will be one where you will be able to wine a lot.


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