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Millennials Drink the Most Wine in the U.S.

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[Originally appeared on client website; link no longer available]

If you believe your Facebook news feed, then it’s no surprise that Millennials drink a lot of wine. Every other update from someone in their 20s or 30s seems to refer to wine. A new study from the Wine Market Council confirms it.

Millennials are the group of people born between 1978 and 1995, making the youngest of the group barely legal to buy alcohol. The Wine Market Council reported in Wine Spectator that 21-38 year olds drank 42 percent of the wine in the U.S. in 2015. They drank about 159 million cases of wine. A case is 12 bottles, so that’s 24 bottles a year, or two per month. That’s more than any other age group.

There was a spike in consumption by the Millennials from 2005 to 2012, going from 7.9 percent to 13.9 percent of the population.

A high-frequency drinker is one who has about 3.1 glasses in one evening. That’s nearly a whole bottle of wine, if it’s consumed in a standard 5 ounce wine glass. There’s no data for those who drink straight from the bottle.

Millennials made up 30 percent of these high frequency drinkers, who often also drink several times a week. If that’s the case, then they are going through more than two bottles per month.

Women made up two thirds of those frequent drinkers under 30, and they outweigh men by purchasing twice as much as their male counterparts. In an interesting note, women and men in their 30s are equal when it comes to buying alcohol. It may have to do with the theory that women mature faster than men. The research noted that women wine drinkers were more often urban, educated professionals.

The previous age group, Generation X, made up 20 percent of the high frequency wine drinkers, while Baby Boomers, the oldest of the generations, made up 38 percent.

Millennial drinkers aren’t just getting Two Buck Chuck, either. They’re among the group that spends more on wine than the others. The research found that 17 percent spent more than $20 on a bottle of wine. Even the Baby Boomers, who should be sitting pretty with their retirement, don’t spend that much per bottle.

The types of wine Millennials are drinking varies, as does where they buy their wine. California may be known as the most popular place to get wine among other generations, 20s to 30s year-olds buy it from all over. Women are more likely to try a wine they’ve never tasted before based on recommendations from friends or family.

The council presented the research at a meeting in January during their consumer research conference, and planned to provide additional information at their next conference in the spring. The Wine Market Council is a non-profit association of grape growers, wine producers, importers, wholesalers, retailers and other organizations associated with the wine industry.