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On occasions when people would otherwise be sipping Napa Cab, they’re now reaching for spirits, cocktails, and RTDs. However, while the wine industry’s future is quite uncertain, that doesn’t mean that winemakers and industry professionals can’t do anything about it. But the unfortunate truth is that instead of crafting solutions, most are choosing to instead sit back, accept wine’s decline, and watch the cloud of doom and gloom descend upon the wine world.
Arguably the industry’s biggest misconception is that luxury consumers are growing less and less interested in wine, particularly new and up-and-coming wineries. As Adam claims, “Wine thinks that the moment someone decides to become a luxury consumer, they subscribe to Wine Spectator, Cigar Aficionado, and Whisky Advocate.” But in reality, that’s just not the case, as he recently discovered that over 50 percent of all luxury consumers earn less than $100,000 a year. Moreover, nearly half of those consumers are under the age of 35.
These days, the luxury market skews young, and those in the space typically don’t have the unlimited bankroll that one might suspect. Nonetheless, these consumers are splurging on the things they want, and the only sector of the drinks world that’s talking to them is spirits brands — hence why so many tequila brands have secured the status as a luxury, nightclub-ready statement drink. But there’s no real reason why a rosé can’t be a lifestyle brand, too, but to make that happen, the wine industry needs to pivot and shed its shackles of antiquated branding and marketing.
On this episode of the “VinePair Podcast,” Adam, Joanna, and Zach discuss why defeatism won’t work in the wine industry and explain why younger consumers can be won over; they just have to be actively targeted. Tune in for more.