"Millennials Now Ruining Wine As Well"

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Sc0tt F!tzger@ld
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"Millennials Now Ruining Wine As Well"

#1 Post by Sc0tt F!tzger@ld » January 31st, 2019, 10:19 am

Interesting article on Wine-Searcher written by Blake Gray...

https://www.wine-searcher.com/m/2019/01 ... ne-as-well

Some callouts I found interesting:
- Overall wine sales in the US are actually down over the last six months – the first such drop in 25 years
- Sales are down in Western Europe as well
- Millennials, even the older ones, aren't buying expensive wine
- Believed younger people may see wine consumption as unhealthy
- Bigger brands looking to shake things up with more innovative tasting rooms

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Re: "Millennials Now Ruining Wine As Well"

#2 Post by Howard Cooper » January 31st, 2019, 10:28 am

Wineries should look in the mirror to understand why millennials are not buying wine. Prices are too high. Tasting fees at many wineries are too high. I would hate to be starting to buy wines now. I might have never gotten started drinking wine.
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Re: "Millennials Now Ruining Wine As Well"

#3 Post by MBerto » January 31st, 2019, 10:42 am

My cohorts and I will not stop until everything beloved by boomers is dead and buried and erased from the history books.
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Re: "Millennials Now Ruining Wine As Well"

#4 Post by Markus S » January 31st, 2019, 10:47 am

Scott Fitzgerald wrote:
January 31st, 2019, 10:19 am
- Millennials, even the older ones, aren't buying expensive wine
Who knew they were so smart?! [wink.gif]
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Re: "Millennials Now Ruining Wine As Well"

#5 Post by Paul Luckin » January 31st, 2019, 10:51 am

Howard Cooper wrote:
January 31st, 2019, 10:28 am
Wineries should look in the mirror to understand why millennials are not buying wine. Prices are too high. Tasting fees at many wineries are too high. I would hate to be starting to buy wines now. I might have never gotten started drinking wine.
there are plenty of wineries/tasting rooms which offer moderately priced wines (e.g. $25 - $40) and commensurately priced tasting fees ($15 - $25), often waived with purchases, so i'm not sure that's the core issue.

as the article notes: the millennial wine taster visiting wine country is looking more toward an "experience" (i.e. food, winery/vineyard tour, vistas and photo ops for their IG) vs the traditional step-up-to-the-bar, taste a few wines and make a purchase. in my experience, the folks who prize the "experience" are also not necessarily the ones who are walking out with wines by the case. it may be a bottle or two, or just paying the tasting fee, but it's more about spending time in at a place with friends and enjoying the scene, more so than making a wine purchase.

one other point: as wineries/tasting rooms shift their models to meet this demand, the amount of time patrons are spending at each "experience" grows, leading to less opportunities in a day of tasting to visit more than just a few spots, which then leads to less traffic in a market where volume is almost essential to survive.
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Re: "Millennials Now Ruining Wine As Well"

#6 Post by Matthew King » January 31st, 2019, 10:54 am

The surging popularity of legal recreational weed is certainly having an effect on declining alcohol sales among millenials.

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/mille ... 2018-09-26
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Re: "Millennials Now Ruining Wine As Well"

#7 Post by Gabe Berk » January 31st, 2019, 10:56 am

Seems like paying $25 for a mid level wine to a segment that pays over 70% of their net earnings to rent/mortgage, student loans, car payment and health/car insurance would be a financial stretch. Then add in cell phone, internet, cable, food, entertainment into the mix and a $25 bottle is not as affordable as say Coors Light or strait Cuervo to the head.

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Re: "Millennials Now Ruining Wine As Well"

#8 Post by John Webber » January 31st, 2019, 10:56 am

I won't give them credit for much, but so far they have largely avoided the vanity sports (luxury cars, wine, and gated suburban housing). We will see what happens if or when they start their prime earning years. They have definitely been spending money on beer and bourbon.

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Re: "Millennials Now Ruining Wine As Well"

#9 Post by c fu » January 31st, 2019, 11:05 am

John Webber wrote:
January 31st, 2019, 10:56 am
I won't give them credit for much, but so far they have largely avoided the vanity sports (luxury cars, wine, and gated suburban housing). We will see what happens if or when they start their prime earning years. They have definitely been spending money on beer and bourbon.
this is kinda what i'm thinking. It's really tough to determine how people are going to be spending money on vanity luxury goods when a large chunk are not in situations where they make enough money to do so.

I'm sure many of the baby boomers here weren't buying $50-75 wines (whatever the dollar equivalent was) when they were 25-26 either and the cost of living wasn't nearly as high back then.
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Re: "Millennials Now Ruining Wine As Well"

#10 Post by T. Altmayer » January 31st, 2019, 11:06 am

I'm not a Millennial, but I'm buying less expensive wine than a few years ago. The wine industry benefited for years from rising prices, but at some point there is a breaking point, even for those who can afford it. It is rare that I am making multi bottle purchase for expensive wines. I'm definitely still buying high-end wines, but less often and not as many of them. I've almost stopped buying California Cabs (with the exception of Monte Bello and a couple others) and even those purchases are for a couple bottles at most. When the upper end of California Pinot hit $60+, I cut my purchases in half and moved to other varietals and other regions.

There will always be a market for high end wines, but IMO the number of wineries in California selling pinots at $60+ and cabs at $100+ will eventually decline.
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Re: "Millennials Now Ruining Wine As Well"

#11 Post by julianseersmartin » January 31st, 2019, 11:06 am

I am technically a millennial (although towards the beginning of the loosely defined millennial window), and the component I struggle with the most is just how few other millenials there are to share wine with. All of my wine friends are getting on for at least 10 years older than me and in many cases 30 years older.

I do not buy that spirits have a greater popularity over beer as that article asserts, spirit consumption is increasingly down among my group of friends, and craft beer has gone up. The availability of craft beer increasing dramatically over the last 10 years would agree with that too - I don't think we're seeing generation X sitting in a bar much these days, vs their millennial counterpart.

As for the cost of wine...Napa has been out of reach for millennials for years and that's nothing new. I don't buy Napa unless I get lucky and come across a deal, and despite living in CA, travelling there does not appeal to me in the way that say Paso Robles or the Willamette Valley does. There is a swathe of local and foreign wine that is not only significantly cheaper, but at least equivalent in quality.

The idea of having an average bottle cost exceeding $100 in a region is bonkers to me (this is an assumption on my part, but I rarely read a positive report on a Napa wine that is sub $100). Somehow, and I realise how silly this statement sounds but it is absolutely the truth, Burgundy is more accessible to me than Napa.

The tasting experience criticism is in my view, a bit of a churlish diversion of the problem. The most valuable tasting experiences for me are those that are real. I want to speak to the winemaker, I want to see the barrel rooms and I want to learn about what goes on behind the scenes - the activity that makes the bottle possible. I would argue that anyone who is entirely satisfied merely by being treated like a king in a fancy room with a rep that's internally gagging over the thought of selling 3 bottles of $500 wine to them, is the problem. There's no interest in authenticity or understanding - just a recognition of a massive bill and how impressive that is to their guests.

But, all that being said, I am buying wine, probably significant amounts for someone in my age range that would put me in the very top percentiles. You don't catch me buying Rousseau or Maybach though, and that's for good reason.

I do find the blame game on millennials quite tiresome - I'm not sure how key markets of wine being inaccessible and uninteresting means we are ruining it.

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Re: "Millennials Now Ruining Wine As Well"

#12 Post by JonathanFed » January 31st, 2019, 11:07 am

I just turned 28 working in the business so an outlier, but I probably am drinking maybe 1-2 bottles a week, not that I don't want more but I can't afford to drink what I want all the time so I supplement with beer. I live in $25-$50 price range generally closer to $25 per bottle and will occasionally splurge for something I really want generally either Burgundy or N Rhone, but it is an interesting dynamic between my bosses who were able to afford Bordeaux/Burgundy/Napa etc... and myself who is trying to get our shop to find more up and coming regions that offer better value for the younger base too.

The rest of the article is pretty interesting and I agree with most of the article, could go in deep about my generation, friends, and what I've noticed, but think its been pretty well outlined why wine seems to be declining at least for now, It will be interesting to see as people my age enter our primes, get more established in their careers, start having kids etc... if wine jumps back up.
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Re: "Millennials Now Ruining Wine As Well"

#13 Post by Howard Cooper » January 31st, 2019, 11:16 am

c fu wrote:
January 31st, 2019, 11:05 am
John Webber wrote:
January 31st, 2019, 10:56 am
I won't give them credit for much, but so far they have largely avoided the vanity sports (luxury cars, wine, and gated suburban housing). We will see what happens if or when they start their prime earning years. They have definitely been spending money on beer and bourbon.
this is kinda what i'm thinking. It's really tough to determine how people are going to be spending money on vanity luxury goods when a large chunk are not in situations where they make enough money to do so.

I'm sure many of the baby boomers here weren't buying $50-75 wines (whatever the dollar equivalent was) when they were 25-26 either and the cost of living wasn't nearly as high back then.
Well, I was paying < $10 for 82 Canon and $11 for 82 Cos
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Re: "Millennials Now Ruining Wine As Well"

#14 Post by Matthew.Rashbrook » January 31st, 2019, 11:24 am

Posts to the effect of, "When Millennials reach their prime earning years, we'll see how things change" seem to me to assume that Millennials will have prime earning years and spending power commensurate with generations that came before them. Presently, this seems like a very poor assumption.

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Re: "Millennials Now Ruining Wine As Well"

#15 Post by Markus S » January 31st, 2019, 11:25 am

c fu wrote:
January 31st, 2019, 11:05 am
I'm sure many of the baby boomers here weren't buying $50-75 wines (whatever the dollar equivalent was) when they were 25-26 either and the cost of living wasn't nearly as high back then.
Well, even 10-15 years ago those bottles today would be $100-150...for a boomer in the 90's those would be equivalent to $200-300 bottles. And who says inflation is subdued?
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Re: "Millennials Now Ruining Wine As Well"

#16 Post by Markus S » January 31st, 2019, 11:28 am

Matthew.Rashbrook wrote:
January 31st, 2019, 11:24 am
Posts to the effect of, "When Millennials reach their prime earning years, we'll see how things change" seem to me to assume that Millennials will have prime earning years and spending power commensurate with generations that came before them. Presently, this seems like a very poor assumption.
Exactly. Generational effects are broad and sweeping and what has gone on before can change quickly.
Look at a whole host of things, like golf, for example. You won't see millennials trying to tee off like people were in the 60's.
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Re: "Millennials Now Ruining Wine As Well"

#17 Post by JMFrawley » January 31st, 2019, 11:39 am

My wife and I are 32 and we'll probably open a bottle on most nights (two kids under 4 will do that to you!) and we spend far too much on wine....or maybe not enough, I don't know. I'm a millennial and I can say the these "millennials are killing _______" articles are nothing but pure clickbait. I will say that it's only in the last couple years that I've had the time and, more importantly, the money to really delve into wine so maybe just give this generation a few more years to find our feet and you'll see that we're the same hedonists as all the generations that came before!
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Re: "Millennials Now Ruining Wine As Well"

#18 Post by matt d » January 31st, 2019, 11:39 am

As some one who is 28 the only reason i am really drink wine or on this board is because i happened to luck into a tasting group full of guys in there 60+ who have very deep cellar and are willing to share. There is no way outside of that i would have tasted must of the wine i have had and have to confidence to spend 75 on a bottle knowing that it can age.

On the tasting rooms price is a huge factor. When i talk to the older guys in the my group they talk about just stopping in and trying random tasting rooms and see what they like. When i went to napa every winery we stopped at was careful researched to look at the wine and experience and determine if we want to go. Winery need to find a way to reach younger people if your a small winery how will any found out about you because there is no more see a winery stop in.
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Re: "Millennials Now Ruining Wine As Well"

#19 Post by AD Northup » January 31st, 2019, 12:09 pm

31 year old here...average bottle price in my just under 500 bottle cellar is apparently $43. Thats a number I'm comfortable with given my current economics and the quality I can find, so I don't see that changing materially upward any time soon.
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Re: "Millennials Now Ruining Wine As Well"

#20 Post by Frank Z » January 31st, 2019, 12:22 pm

I'm 25 and I consider myself quite fortunate to be able to afford Napa wines (the only region I collect, even though I've been encouraged to explore Bordeaux) and make several trips up to Napa Valley each year. The average bottle price in my 250-bottle cellar is about $85.

I do agree with the article, as I also look for an "experience" when going to taste wine, the reason being, the experience is better remembered with the wine, as opposed to just drinking the wine itself. When I visit 4-5 wine tasting bars on a single day, I'm tired of just tasting and taking notes by the 3rd tasting. I would 100% rather do 1-2 unique "experiences", not only where I can learn more about the history and vines and getting to enjoy the estate, something that would help me remember how much I enjoyed their wines, but also get to know members of their team to become friends with and add/follow on social media.

Additionally, it is definitely true that prices (both tasting and bottle) in Napa Valley are getting too high. Many millennials have so many different hobbies, and have their feet in everything that its hard to invest a lot of their income into wine, so when my friends have their friends over for dinner, they'd rather spend more on dry-aged steak, for example, as opposed to adding a $200 bottle of Maybach to their meal. I've realized the best way to obtain wine that I enjoy is through allocation, so I have severely cut back on my in-store purchases, so that I can perhaps get to visit or "experience" a tasting with them in the future (and not pay $150 per person for the tasting).

With all that being said, I don't believe millennials should take all the blame, especially when wine prices are reaching unbelievable highs. To think that Colgin, Abreu, and BOND (just to give some examples) are now nearing $600 a bottle compared to being at the $300 per bottle price point a few years back shows how inaccessible fine wine truly is. Of course, the student loans don't help either, but ehh...
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Re: "Millennials Now Ruining Wine As Well"

#21 Post by Jason T » January 31st, 2019, 12:24 pm

Paul Luckin wrote:
January 31st, 2019, 10:51 am
Howard Cooper wrote:
January 31st, 2019, 10:28 am
Wineries should look in the mirror to understand why millennials are not buying wine. Prices are too high. Tasting fees at many wineries are too high. I would hate to be starting to buy wines now. I might have never gotten started drinking wine.
there are plenty of wineries/tasting rooms which offer moderately priced wines (e.g. $25 - $40) and commensurately priced tasting fees ($15 - $25), often waived with purchases, so i'm not sure that's the core issue.

as the article notes: the millennial wine taster visiting wine country is looking more toward an "experience" (i.e. food, winery/vineyard tour, vistas and photo ops for their IG) vs the traditional step-up-to-the-bar, taste a few wines and make a purchase. in my experience, the folks who prize the "experience" are also not necessarily the ones who are walking out with wines by the case. it may be a bottle or two, or just paying the tasting fee, but it's more about spending time in at a place with friends and enjoying the scene, more so than making a wine purchase.

one other point: as wineries/tasting rooms shift their models to meet this demand, the amount of time patrons are spending at each "experience" grows, leading to less opportunities in a day of tasting to visit more than just a few spots, which then leads to less traffic in a market where volume is almost essential to survive.
It strikes me that an awful lot of adults fit this profile as well. For them it’s basically a ‘lifestyle’ thing as opposed to a ‘wine’ thing. Most people I know don’t understand there is a difference. Keep in mind the folks on this board are at the far end of the curve.

Now if the argument is that more millennials as a percentage want those things, and fewer are true geeks, I’d buy that. Or that they want those things but at a lower price point, that makes sense too.
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Re: "Millennials Now Ruining Wine As Well"

#22 Post by Jason T » January 31st, 2019, 12:36 pm

The article notes that Gen X is aging and starting to spend more money on wine. Which I’d expect. But is Gen X spending more relative to their income level than Boomers? It doesn’t say. Are Millennials spending less money relative to Gen X? It doesn’t say.

Also, the article indicates that people were surprised that Millennials didn’t make up a bigger percentage of the growth in sales of “expensive wines”. Should they have? Again, relative to their income level are they buying more or less wine than previous generation? If they are just making less I’d expect they’d spend less too.

Also what’s an “expensive wine” for the purposes of the report? $25, $50,$500? Article didn’t say.

Tough to draw conclusions around whether this is something unique to Millennials or whether part of a larger trend- and we know and have discussed in this thread some of the larger trends.
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#23 Post by Jim Anderson » January 31st, 2019, 1:01 pm

We actually think about this a lot. We just built a tasting room (or should I say “have nearly completed building a tasting room and it seems to have taken an incredibly long to even get to that point”) after using some combination of turned over barrels in the not-so-attractive winery or re-purposed living room space for years. We are still going to be by appointment and most tastings will be privately conducted by someone who knows what they are talking about. If you’re a 2some you might get linked in with another smaller group sort of like if you showed up at the golf course on a busy day. We want to still bring people down through the winery and have myself or other winery staff drop in on tastings as much as possible. We are putting together a presentation of photos and video that could be viewed on an iPhone or an iPad that we provide so that there is visual information of the vineyards we are tasting folks on. The tasting room outdoor area does have some “hang” space that overlooks the vineyard but it’s not exactly what we are encouraging although regulars would certainly be welcome to use it as such. We do have a $40 tasting fee but it is almost always waived even if people don’t necessarily meet the alleged criteria for having it waived (generally if you buy some wine and aren’t a jerk we don’t bother with the fee). We do try to think of how to tailor folks’ experience and make it interesting, fun and informative beyond the wines.

That being said none of this is easy and we are unfortunately constrained by actually having to make money at the end of the day. In the wine business it isn’t impossible but it’s not particularly easy and you ultimately have to have your bread buttered where your top customers exist. We have attempted to keep this as grassroots-y a place as possible but ultimately growing and making Pinot Noir is largely going to put you in a place where having +$35 bottles of wine is really the only way to survive, keep partners at bay and the bank away from the proverbial door. I know if our plan includes being around for another 20 years (lordy) we will have to find replacements for a clientele that is easily mostly over 50. Simply presuming they the folks who are now 33 are going to be customers when they are 53 is a terrible plan. Preparing and enacting a plan for that future is hard.
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Re: "Millennials Now Ruining Wine As Well"

#24 Post by Paul Luckin » January 31st, 2019, 1:42 pm

Jason T wrote:
January 31st, 2019, 12:24 pm
Paul Luckin wrote:
January 31st, 2019, 10:51 am
Howard Cooper wrote:
January 31st, 2019, 10:28 am
Wineries should look in the mirror to understand why millennials are not buying wine. Prices are too high. Tasting fees at many wineries are too high. I would hate to be starting to buy wines now. I might have never gotten started drinking wine.
there are plenty of wineries/tasting rooms which offer moderately priced wines (e.g. $25 - $40) and commensurately priced tasting fees ($15 - $25), often waived with purchases, so i'm not sure that's the core issue.

as the article notes: the millennial wine taster visiting wine country is looking more toward an "experience" (i.e. food, winery/vineyard tour, vistas and photo ops for their IG) vs the traditional step-up-to-the-bar, taste a few wines and make a purchase. in my experience, the folks who prize the "experience" are also not necessarily the ones who are walking out with wines by the case. it may be a bottle or two, or just paying the tasting fee, but it's more about spending time in at a place with friends and enjoying the scene, more so than making a wine purchase.

one other point: as wineries/tasting rooms shift their models to meet this demand, the amount of time patrons are spending at each "experience" grows, leading to less opportunities in a day of tasting to visit more than just a few spots, which then leads to less traffic in a market where volume is almost essential to survive.
It strikes me that an awful lot of adults fit this profile as well. For them it’s basically a ‘lifestyle’ thing as opposed to a ‘wine’ thing. Most people I know don’t understand there is a difference. Keep in mind the folks on this board are at the far end of the curve.

Now if the argument is that more millennials as a percentage want those things, and fewer are true geeks, I’d buy that. Or that they want those things but at a lower price point, that makes sense too.
good points.
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Re: "Millennials Now Ruining Wine As Well"

#25 Post by Jay Miller » January 31st, 2019, 1:48 pm

Haven't those durn millenials gotten off my lawn yet? Grr, well I'll just wait them out. That's sure to work.

anyway, I certainly wasn't spending the equivalent of $40+ for a bottle of wine on any regular sort of basis until I was well into my late 40s (I did buy some 1985 Bordeaux futures when I was still living at home and before I had to start paying rent). So I'm not sure this is at all significant.
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Re: "Millennials Now Ruining Wine As Well"

#26 Post by Matthew.Rashbrook » January 31st, 2019, 1:59 pm

Howard Cooper wrote:
January 31st, 2019, 11:16 am
Well, I was paying < $10 for 82 Canon and $11 for 82 Cos
2016 Cos is going for $190 today. 11 1982 dollars ~= 29 today dollars.

[winner.gif]

(Edit: original post used 2016 for inflation calc., now 2018.)

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Re: "Millennials Now Ruining Wine As Well"

#27 Post by Anthony V » January 31st, 2019, 2:19 pm

JMFrawley wrote:
January 31st, 2019, 11:39 am
My wife and I are 32 and we'll probably open a bottle on most nights (two kids under 4 will do that to you!) and we spend far too much on wine....or maybe not enough, I don't know. I'm a millennial and I can say the these "millennials are killing _______" articles are nothing but pure clickbait. I will say that it's only in the last couple years that I've had the time and, more importantly, the money to really delve into wine so maybe just give this generation a few more years to find our feet and you'll see that we're the same hedonists as all the generations that came before!
This is my exact situation too (except a 3.5 year old and one due in April). I can say it was a long process to get to where I am now with wine, starting at 23 when I would chug my girlfriends wine because I hated the taste. It wasn’t until the last few years that my budget has allowed to me to explore wines over $20 and build a cellar. And I am at the beginning of what’s considered a millennial so give them some time.
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Re: "Millennials Now Ruining Wine As Well"

#28 Post by Rob M » January 31st, 2019, 2:28 pm

As others have mentioned you'd have to look at a cohort analysis over time (comparing same age consumers over time) to really make any conclusions, so who knows.

It seems to me the pricing for fine wine, over time, has roughly followed the stock market / global wealth. As a brief example, quick googling shows 1982 Lafite was sold as futures for something like $33 USD/btl. If one had invested $33 USD in the S&P 500 in Jan 1983 and reinvested dividends, they would have had ~$1440 by Jan 2019. Well, one can purchase a bottle of 1982 Chateau Lafite for maybe $2,500 today, but count storage costs of $2/yr invested in the market over time, and you probably get pretty close to that $2,500 #. That is despite an enormous surge in the interest in Chateau Lafite over the past 36 years that has caused Lafite to easily outperform other non-DRC wine brands over these period, so this outcome (appreciation of the wine slightly exceeding the stock market) is probably a near best case scenario.

Wine is facing the same issue that other assets, i.e. housing are facing. House prices have gone up given the surge in global wealth, but incomes haven't risen at nearly the same rate, leaving housing pretty unaffordable for the category of young Americans who have not benefited from the past 30 years of asset inflation. An average 25-30 year old owning a home right now is long shot whereas if you had a good job 40 years ago it should have been expected.

I imagine fine wine is in roughly the same place. If you are old and asset rich after years of compounding wealth in the markets, you can afford today's wine prices. If you are young and lack assets and your source of money is income, then you're priced out of most fine wine. Result is boomers with cellars full of thousands of bottles of wine and younger people struggling to afford any fine wine [obviously exaggerating here a bit, and keep in mind that we're talking about a small subset of the world that can afford to even be relevant in this conversation, whether in 1983 or 2019].
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Re: "Millennials Now Ruining Wine As Well"

#29 Post by Ian Sutton » January 31st, 2019, 2:32 pm

So wine is being ruined by people paying stupid prices for wine AND by people refusing to pay stupid prices for wine.
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Re: "Millennials Now Ruining Wine As Well"

#30 Post by John Morris » January 31st, 2019, 2:34 pm

Howard Cooper wrote:
January 31st, 2019, 11:16 am
Well, I was paying < $10 for 82 Canon and $11 for 82 Cos
Really?? I paid $19.50 for the '82 Cos in 1985. Was that on futures? I don't remember any second growths going for less than $19-$20 on the shelves, and that was a good price at the time.
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Re: "Millennials Now Ruining Wine As Well"

#31 Post by John Morris » January 31st, 2019, 2:35 pm

Ian Sutton wrote:
January 31st, 2019, 2:32 pm
So wine is being ruined by people paying stupid prices for wine AND by people refusing to pay stupid prices for wine.
[snort.gif] champagne.gif
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Re: "Millennials Now Ruining Wine As Well"

#32 Post by John Morris » January 31st, 2019, 2:51 pm

Scott Fitzgerald wrote:
January 31st, 2019, 10:19 am
Interesting article on Wine-Searcher written by Blake Gray...

https://www.wine-searcher.com/m/2019/01 ... ne-as-well

Some callouts I found interesting:
- Overall wine sales in the US are actually down over the last six months – the first such drop in 25 years
First of all, that's a drop in liquid volume, not dollars, if you read the bank's actual report.

Also, the dropoff in case sales in late 2018 is so steep that you have to wonder if there's some statistical goof. This seems very improbable:
Sales in dollars and cases.JPG
The report doesn't include sales figures before 2013, but I'm not sure this statement in the story is correct:
Overall wine sales in the US are actually down over the last six months – the first such drop in 25 years. Even during the 2008 recession, people kept drinking more wine.
As I recall, in 2009, the dollar volume of wine sales in the US declined about 30%, though the amount of wine sold was about constant.

If you read the report, the drop in volume is entirely in wines under $9 a bottle. Sales of higher-priced wines continue to grow. So I'm not sure how much these stats matter to people like us.
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Re: "Millennials Now Ruining Wine As Well"

#33 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » January 31st, 2019, 2:52 pm

When I came out of law school in 1992, and got more into wine, I distinctly recall paying $25 for 1990 La Louviere, $45 for 1989 Pichon Baron and 1990 Lynch Bages for $50. And yes, I grabbed them and loved them. Was hooked. Yea these prices have spiked quite a bit, especially for vintages like 2000, 2005, 2009 and 2010, and I guess now again for 2015/2016. But, I also grabbed many Classified Growths from more classic vintages that suit my palate, like 2014 and 2008 (2004 and 2001 solid as well), for $55 and less. Leoville Barton. Rauzan Segla. Haut Bailly. GPL. Dme de Chevalier. Gazin. Even Pichon and Lynch were not that much more, and inflation adjusted, perhaps even a better deal. I can certainly better afford Lynch Bages today than I did back in 1992. So I do not see things as so bad. I see us also having a greater range of options today. The range of inexpensive, fantastic offerings from places like Beaujolais and Loire boggle the mind. Even Rhone has some great value-plays.

For the smart Millienials, including my associates who make far more than I did back in 1992, I am not shedding tears. They will be fine.

And if they bring wine purchasing down, perhaps prices drop given lack of demand.

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Re: "Millennials Now Ruining Wine As Well"

#34 Post by Mark Golodetz » January 31st, 2019, 3:09 pm

Matthew.Rashbrook wrote:
January 31st, 2019, 1:59 pm
Howard Cooper wrote:
January 31st, 2019, 11:16 am
Well, I was paying < $10 for 82 Canon and $11 for 82 Cos
2016 Cos is going for $190 today. 11 1982 dollars ~= 29 today dollars.

[winner.gif]

(Edit: original post used 2016 for inflation calc., now 2018.)
These inflation adjusted figures are totally misleading. Figure wine is part of a meal, and you get a lot closer to how ludicrous the pricing of wine has become. Two good sized steaks in 1984 were around $8 each. Vegetables etc added say another $2. Total $18. Cos 1982 was selling for $18, about the same cost.

Today the same meal is around $35, but the Cos 2015 would be if you shopped around $160.
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Re: "Millennials Now Ruining Wine As Well"

#35 Post by Marc Hauser » January 31st, 2019, 3:09 pm

The Millennial issue was one of the big topics of the Unified Wine & Grape Symposium this week in Sacramento (one of the biggest US trade conferences in the industry). https://www.wine-searcher.com/m/2019/01 ... nnial-menu

The article does a good job of summing up just about every conversation I had with people at the conference, except for the ones discussing whether Cannabis is a substitution for inexpensive wine.

TLDR: no one really knows exactly what to do about Millennials and wine - even those whose job it is to solve that problem.
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Re: "Millennials Now Ruining Wine As Well"

#36 Post by Gary York » January 31st, 2019, 3:25 pm

Two things that are killing wine:

1. Craft cocktail
2. Craft beer

Pushed by a lazy and uneducated press and aided by bar/restaurant owners that are lazy, uneducated and greedy. The simple quick easy profits are used to buy ads that drive coverage and are then used to push more of the same crap. So it goes round in a circle. Mixologists and beer gurus abound. Pushing tacos and fanatsy pizzas. Articles are running 10-1 against wine. I just wish I was going to live long enough to see these little twits grow up. Eventually they will turn to wine. But the damage will be done.
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Re: "Millennials Now Ruining Wine As Well"

#37 Post by Matthew.Rashbrook » January 31st, 2019, 3:34 pm

Mark Golodetz wrote:
January 31st, 2019, 3:09 pm
Matthew.Rashbrook wrote:
January 31st, 2019, 1:59 pm
Howard Cooper wrote:
January 31st, 2019, 11:16 am
Well, I was paying < $10 for 82 Canon and $11 for 82 Cos
2016 Cos is going for $190 today. 11 1982 dollars ~= 29 today dollars.

[winner.gif]

(Edit: original post used 2016 for inflation calc., now 2018.)
These inflation adjusted figures are totally misleading. Figure wine is part of a meal, and you get a lot closer to how ludicrous the pricing of wine has become. Two good sized steaks in 1984 were around $8 each. Vegetables etc added say another $2. Total $18. Cos 1982 was selling for $18, about the same cost.

Today the same meal is around $35, but the Cos 2015 would be if you shopped around $160.
Ok, so by your standard the Cos should be ~= $35, by inflation it should be ~= $43. Either way, I think the point is made that the cost of the wine has dramatically outrun the cost of other things (and the wages paid to the buyer).

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Re: "Millennials Now Ruining Wine As Well"

#38 Post by Gary York » January 31st, 2019, 3:43 pm

And if this is true, the world is really in trouble.

https://www.wine-searcher.com/m/2019/01 ... nnial-menu
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Re: "Millennials Now Ruining Wine As Well"

#39 Post by John Morris » January 31st, 2019, 3:58 pm

Reading that Gray piece in tandem with the other does make me suspect he's getting paid by the clicks.
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Re: "Millennials Now Ruining Wine As Well"

#40 Post by Matthew.Rashbrook » January 31st, 2019, 4:09 pm

In which I translate:
Robert.A.Jr. wrote:
January 31st, 2019, 2:52 pm
When I came out of law school in 1992, and got more into wine, I distinctly recall paying $25 for 1990 La Louviere, $45 for 1989 Pichon Baron and 1990 Lynch Bages for $50. And yes, I grabbed them and loved them. Was hooked.
"I graduated at a time and place that allowed me to buy fantastic vintages of good-to-great wines for prices that were affordable to me. Life was good!"
Yea these prices have spiked quite a bit, especially for vintages like 2000, 2005, 2009 and 2010, and I guess now again for 2015/2016.
"Sure, those coming after me are getting screwed by comparison."
But, I also grabbed many Classified Growths from more classic vintages that suit my palate, like 2014 and 2008 (2004 and 2001 solid as well), for $55 and less. Leoville Barton. Rauzan Segla. Haut Bailly. GPL. Dme de Chevalier. Gazin. Even Pichon and Lynch were not that much more, and inflation adjusted, perhaps even a better deal.
"But, I happen to have personal tastes that mean the broader trends in the market don't negatively impact me."
I can certainly better afford Lynch Bages today than I did back in 1992. So I do not see things as so bad. I see us also having a greater range of options today. The range of inexpensive, fantastic offerings from places like Beaujolais and Loire boggle the mind. Even Rhone has some great value-plays.
"Anyway, I don't personally feel any of the pain discussed herein, so I'm not too sure what the big deal is. Besides, they can always eat some other flavor of cake."

For the smart Millienials, including my associates who make far more than I did back in 1992, I am not shedding tears. They will be fine.

And if they bring wine purchasing down, perhaps prices drop given lack of demand.
"My own anecdotal observations support my position. And, if I'm wrong, Millennial misfortune could even benefit me."

[berserker.gif]

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Re: "Millennials Now Ruining Wine As Well"

#41 Post by Brandon Econ » January 31st, 2019, 4:14 pm

I'm 32. I feel like I drink better wine than most did at my age 20 years ago. The amount of great, different, and interesting wine available to me is astounding, if I take the time to look for it... Sure, I'd love to try Rayas at some point because I hear it's the tits but if I have to settle for Commando G in the interim until all my money isn't going to debt I can't complain. Millennials aren't killing industries they are killing shitty industries. Grocery store wine is f*ck awful and it's always a disappointment when you know nothing about something, give it a shot to see what the fuss is about, and wish you had spent your $15 on six pack of craft brew instead. Which is why to me the natural wine movement is such a breath of fresh air. It put a real human face on the world of wine, a person I could approach who crafted it by hand, who loved those little grapes like children. It democratized wine in a way it had never been. Sure the wines occasionally taste like actual shit and give me acid reflux but I'll take the good and the bad with my tums.

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Re: "Millennials Now Ruining Wine As Well"

#42 Post by Joe B » January 31st, 2019, 4:19 pm

Millennials don’t want low cost entry level anything. So when they know middle of the road wines cost $50 a bottle you can bet they aren’t buyers
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Re: "Millennials Now Ruining Wine As Well"

#43 Post by R. Frankel » January 31st, 2019, 4:19 pm

Like a few here I actually read the doc and details in question. I came away with very different conclusions - the long term trends seemed very positive for the wine industry, especially the part we care about (>$10 bottles) here. There are generational gaps but there is not enough analysis about predicting the future to jump to any depressing conclusions.

All the negative press is click bait. It’s negative BS spin to suck in readers. This doesn’t mean that the market isn’t changing and wine makers will have to evolve to attract future generations. Duh. Of course they will. But the base of devoted wine lovers has NEVER been stronger in the US. A great place to build from.
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Re: "Millennials Now Ruining Wine As Well"

#44 Post by Bryan Carr » January 31st, 2019, 4:46 pm

Marc Hauser wrote:
January 31st, 2019, 3:09 pm


TLDR: no one really knows exactly what to do about Millennials and wine - even those whose job it is to solve that problem.
Fix asset price inflation and wage stagnation and the rest will take care of itself. champagne.gif

Whenever people do that little song and dance about Millennials "preferring experiences" it always makes me laugh because most Millennials I know would prefer to own rather than rent but can't because asset prices have dislocated so hard from wages. We settle for experiences because its all we can afford given asset prices, student loan debt, etc etc, and I wish these articles would stop assuming all outcomes in a market economy are due to consumer preferences. If my wife and I weren't paying 1k a month in student loans, 2k in rent, and having to save 25% of our take home to try and get anywhere near a down payment in any reasonable time frame we'd definitely be buying more wine. Those are real numbers, we have traditionally "well paid" white collar jobs, and we don't live in the Bay Area or NYC.

Conversely, in recent years SO MANY of my previously wine-averse friends are getting into wine HARD, but just not in the way boomers and gen-xers have. Natural/biodynamic wine and non-conventional wine culture is on the upswing really hard in urban areas, especially tied to the food scene, rather than buying and cellaring wine. I can't tell you how many friends of mine I've see get into wine recently, they're just not buying Napa cab or Burgundy.
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Re: "Millennials Now Ruining Wine As Well"

#45 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » January 31st, 2019, 5:18 pm

Matthew.Rashbrook wrote:
January 31st, 2019, 4:09 pm
In which I translate:
Robert.A.Jr. wrote:
January 31st, 2019, 2:52 pm
When I came out of law school in 1992, and got more into wine, I distinctly recall paying $25 for 1990 La Louviere, $45 for 1989 Pichon Baron and 1990 Lynch Bages for $50. And yes, I grabbed them and loved them. Was hooked.
"I graduated at a time and place that allowed me to buy fantastic vintages of good-to-great wines for prices that were affordable to me. Life was good!"
Yea these prices have spiked quite a bit, especially for vintages like 2000, 2005, 2009 and 2010, and I guess now again for 2015/2016.
"Sure, those coming after me are getting screwed by comparison."
But, I also grabbed many Classified Growths from more classic vintages that suit my palate, like 2014 and 2008 (2004 and 2001 solid as well), for $55 and less. Leoville Barton. Rauzan Segla. Haut Bailly. GPL. Dme de Chevalier. Gazin. Even Pichon and Lynch were not that much more, and inflation adjusted, perhaps even a better deal.
"But, I happen to have personal tastes that mean the broader trends in the market don't negatively impact me."
I can certainly better afford Lynch Bages today than I did back in 1992. So I do not see things as so bad. I see us also having a greater range of options today. The range of inexpensive, fantastic offerings from places like Beaujolais and Loire boggle the mind. Even Rhone has some great value-plays.
"Anyway, I don't personally feel any of the pain discussed herein, so I'm not too sure what the big deal is. Besides, they can always eat some other flavor of cake."

For the smart Millienials, including my associates who make far more than I did back in 1992, I am not shedding tears. They will be fine.

And if they bring wine purchasing down, perhaps prices drop given lack of demand.
"My own anecdotal observations support my position. And, if I'm wrong, Millennial misfortune could even benefit me."

[berserker.gif]
LOL, half glass full versus half glass empty, baby. You can wallow in your pity-party or embrace the good sh*t. I'd trade you, and I like where I came from. The wine world, IMHO, is pretty awesome right now.

I don't hear Millenial-Fu crying right now, but admittedly, he's a flipper, cornering markets, making millions, while his fellow associates drink drek.


[cheers.gif]

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Re: "Millennials Now Ruining Wine As Well"

#46 Post by Matt Wood » January 31st, 2019, 5:33 pm

Also a Millennial on the older side of the cutoff. I tend to drink in the $25-35 range with the majority being "natural" wines from CA. I'm completely happy in that range and find that's what I want to drink. Usually I buy deep and multiple bottles from a relatively small amount of wineries and 1 off bottles from a bunch of others. Most of the wines marketed to Millennials are the exact opposite of what I want to drink and I don't think I'm alone. I have no interest in Apothic, Prisoner etc. and rarely in wines that come across as overly processed. Constellation and Gallo might as well be Applebees or Exxon for all the support I want to give to them. I'm also sick of the "Millennials are Killing...." articles, most of those things should have been killed before Millennials got to them. For myself, it has nothing to do with prices and if I can afford the "best", I don't let that bother me in the least, I'd rather have what comes across as interesting, authentic, not boring and whatever happens to speak to me. It's wonderful and I feel lucky to live in an area where a huge array of great wines are available, most of the wine shops in this area that carry an interesting range of wines are absolutely packed with Millennials.

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Re: "Millennials Now Ruining Wine As Well"

#47 Post by Ian H » January 31st, 2019, 5:38 pm

Scott Fitzgerald wrote:
January 31st, 2019, 10:19 am
Interesting article on Wine-Searcher written by Blake Gray...

https://www.wine-searcher.com/m/2019/01 ... ne-as-well

Some callouts I found interesting:
- Overall wine sales in the US are actually down over the last six months – the first such drop in 25 years
- Sales are down in Western Europe as well
- Millennials, even the older ones, aren't buying expensive wine
- Believed younger people may see wine consumption as unhealthy
- Bigger brands looking to shake things up with more innovative tasting rooms

Interesting, especially on the sales decline.

Can't say I'm surprised if millenials aren't buying expensive wine. It is an expensive hobby. I know a millennial right in the middle of that age bracket who likes wine and makes a decent living, but cost of living in a major metropolitan area is expensive and he doesn't spend more than 20 bucks on a bottle. Just so many other expenses to consider as well.

Think that's a big generalization that younger people see consumption as unhealthy. I mean, a glass of pinot is not as healthy as a cup of Kale, but the youngsters I know have plenty of unhealthy habits, just like every generation before them.
@@S

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Re: "Millennials Now Ruining Wine As Well"

#48 Post by Nathan Smyth » January 31st, 2019, 5:58 pm

Matthew.Rashbrook wrote:
January 31st, 2019, 11:24 am
Posts to the effect of, "When Millennials reach their prime earning years, we'll see how things change" seem to me to assume that Millennials will have prime earning years and spending power commensurate with generations that came before them. Presently, this seems like a very poor assumption.
The Boomers [and the Silents] have no idea how horrible the economic prospects are for the Millennials.

The average Boomer doesn't even understand the debacle of the Student Loan Debt nightmare [much less what happens to housing prices when you're falling off the trailing edge of a temporally isolated demographic wavelet].

No generation in the entire history of Western Civilization was told more lies than were the Millennials.

And none [or at least far too few] of the Boomers [or the Silents] were paying enough attention to the unfolding tragedy of the Millennials to even have known that they ought to have been speaking out about the lies - assuming that Boomers or Silents would have had the character necessary to try to defy the ubiquitous flood of lies - but if they had had that sort of character, then they wouldn't have been ignoring the plight of the millennials in the first place.

Of course, the big problem for the Millennials now is how many of them swallowed the lies, hook line & sinker.

Because no one stepped forward to warn them that none of it was true.

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Re: "Millennials Now Ruining Wine As Well"

#49 Post by Howard Cooper » January 31st, 2019, 6:18 pm

John Morris wrote:
January 31st, 2019, 2:34 pm
Howard Cooper wrote:
January 31st, 2019, 11:16 am
Well, I was paying < $10 for 82 Canon and $11 for 82 Cos
Really?? I paid $19.50 for the '82 Cos in 1985. Was that on futures? I don't remember any second growths going for less than $19-$20 on the shelves, and that was a good price at the time.
These were futures prices in 1983. The Cos was $130 a case, Gruaud-Larose was $126, Canon was $104, Leoville Barton was < $120, Gloria was $60 or $70. Easy to learn about the wine classics in those days. No wonder we bought more wine than the millennials do.
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Re: "Millennials Now Ruining Wine As Well"

#50 Post by Ian S » January 31st, 2019, 6:21 pm

You guys all sound like your parents, and their parents, and their parents before them. They ALL complained about the new generations as they turned into adults. What are you all gonna do next, practice your "GET OFF MY LAWN!!!" faces in the mirror?
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