Millennials aren’t sipping as much wine as baby boomers and the wine industry doesn’t like it

Millennials are choosing craft beer, other spirits; so what does this mean for Texas wineries?

Millennials aren’t popping wine bottles and instead they are choosing to crack open a seltzer or a craft beer, or even shake up a cocktail.

SAN ANTONIO – Millennials aren’t popping wine bottles and instead they are choosing to crack open a seltzer or a craft beer, or even shake up a cocktail.

Now, the billion dollar wine industry is worried, because the people doing the majority of the sipping are baby boomers, not millennials.

The annual state of the wine industry report outlined this concern, pointing out that if this trend continues sales of American wine could plummet by 20% in the next decade.

“So part of wine’s problem is that it kind of has this air of snobbery about it, right? Like, you have to know all the fancy terms,” Arianna McFarland, a millennial and a craft beer connoisseur, said.

The former nightlife reporter for the Austin American-Statesman is currently traveling the country with her husband and stops at breweries along the way, with all of it documented on her social media.

She believes millennials are more attracted to craft beer over wine because the craft beer industry is more approachable. But she says the main reason is probably because of price.

“I graduated the year of the Great Recession,” McFarland said. “I think we’re just kind of more conscious of where our money’s going and getting a really, really good craft beer is just so much easier to do than getting a really, really good bottle of wine.”

Texas is number two when it comes to wine travel destinations in the U.S behind Napa, California, so will this daunting trend impact the blooming Texas wine industry?

The co-founder of Kuhlman Cellars in Stonewall Texas says he isn’t worried, since most Texas wineries operate on a much smaller local level.

“I actually feel really good, because I don’t aspire for us to be a $10 million case winery as a $10 thousand case winery,” Chris Cobb, the co-founder of Kulman Cellars said. “We’re doing really good out there.”

According to the report, millennials like a sense of community or connection to local products, and its why Cobb believes Texas wineries may have an advantage.

Cobb compares Texas wineries to the craft brewery communities. He believes millennials are attracted to farm to table businesses and is hopeful that their local community has its benefits with the millennial consumer.

“As wine becomes increasingly local, we have this great opportunity to shed those old rituals that are almost mystic in their opacity and instead we can create these new traditions,” Cobb said.


About the Author:

Sarah Acosta is a weekend Good Morning San Antonio anchor and a general assignments reporter at KSAT12. She joined the news team in April 2018 as a morning reporter for GMSA and is a native South Texan.