January 18, 2008 | Back to: News

Wine consumption on the rise in the states; have you had your 2.77 gallons?

Wine consumption in the United States has been on a steady rise for the 14th consecutive year in 2007. Each wine drinker in America consumes around 2.77 gallons of wine per year according to data collected by the Wine Market Council, a wine analyst group from California.We have moved ahead of Italy in consumption of wine, and only lag slightly behind the worlds leader in wine consumption, France. Last year the U.S. sniffed, swirled and swallowed 304 million cases of wine.Remarkable, considering that it is estimated that one in seven Americans do not drink any alcoholic beverages at all.There are many factors accredited with the increase of wine consumption.Wine industry analysts, who follow trends and collect data on who is drinking wine and why they choose certain wines, attribute this rise in consumption to some interesting factors. These consultants say wine has become more approachable. Labels are easier to read for the consumer, and many have become more whimsical, making wine friendlier, and more down to earth. Another factor in the rise in consumption is that wine is considered to be a healthier alcoholic beverage because moderate consumption of wine has been proven to have some health benefits.The growth in wine consumption has also been fueled by the growth in wine production there are thousands of wines being produced throughout the world all vying for a space on a restaurants wine list or retail store shelf. The roughly 7,000 wine brands being marketed offer wines of all levels of quality, and at all price points, which is another factor in contributing to the rise of popularity of wine. Today, there are more and more great tasting wines being offered at reasonable prices, as well as many more brands of quality higher priced wines to choose from. Retail stores sell 90 percent of wines purchased in America, and under $20 bottles have the biggest share of that market.

Women buy more wine than men, but men in the 21-35 age group are beginning to move away from beer which is the most consumed alcoholic beverage of that age group to wine. There are just more people of drinking age in the U.S.! The 77 million baby boomers who started sipping wines decades ago are being joined by the 44 million generation Xs, those in their 30s who are turning to wine in large numbers. And the 70 million strong millennial generation, who are young adults adding 5 percent of of age drinkers per year, and are more wine savvy than past generations, are all adding to wines growing appeal.

With more of us drinking the thousands of wines that are available in the marketplace today, keeping track of what youve tasted is a must. Knowing exactly the name, and vintage of that wine you loved the last time you went out is not always that easy to remember; keeping a record of at least these facts will help you to look for that wine again or avoid that wine if it wasnt what you like.Jotting down the winerys name, the grape varietal, the vintage, and the food that accompanied the wine along with the flavors and aromas you found in that wine is really all you need. You can go deeper and include the wine makers name, the people you enjoyed the wine with, the atmosphere, all factors that affect your impression of wine.Keeping a tasting journal will prove very valuable as a reference for you to use for future purchases, and provide you with information that you can pass on to other wine lovers.You can use any easy-to-carry note book, or purchase one of the many tasting journals available today. Keeping track of the wines youve tasted is fun and adds to your knowledge of wines, which is another factor of why consumption of wine is on the rise. Wine drinkers, for the most part, like to learn about the wine they are sipping we like to explore and discover new and interesting wines. So grab a notebook, pop that cork, and contribute to wines popularity in America who knows, maybe we can surpass the French this year. Janice Jones is a Truckee resident and wine consultant. Reach her at sierrafinewines@yahoo.com.

Janice JonesSpecial to the Sierra Sun


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Tahoe Daily Tribune Updated Jan 18, 2008 02:52PM Published Jan 18, 2008 02:42PM Copyright 2008 Tahoe Daily Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.