by Tory Davis
- A recent consumer study by Wine Opinions found that Americans are sipping more vino than ever before, but that’s not the real news: For the first time, the group asked whether wine is being drunk with food and found that 26% of wine is consumed with no food whatsoever (NYTimes.com, 5 April 2011).
- Only 41% of wine is consumed with a meal; 19% is consumed with light snacks like chips, nuts and crackers and 14% is consumed while cooking. Age is a significant factor when it comes to how wine is enjoyed: The 65-and-older crowd consumes 50% of their wine with food, the highest proportion, while Millennials drink the least with food — 31%.
- 38% of respondents identified as frequent wine drinkers (at least several times per week). This group consumes more than 85% of the wine drunk in the U.S.
WHAT THIS MEANS TO BUSINESS
- Consumers’ patterns of wine drinking are in a massive shift. The days of European-style, wine-with-lengthy-dinners drinking are fading into the sunset as American families spend less time around the table together, and consumers continue to swap out Bud for Zinfandel.
- Millennials see wine as booze, period. Whether they reach for a beer, cocktail or glass of wine has little to do with what’s on the table — if there even is one. Wine bars are taking notice and shifting wine lists to feature glasses that taste great on their own.