Meet a Millennial

I’m a millennial and I love wine – and I’m not the only one by a long shot.  In the inaugural post of this blog, I want to take a minute and point out (in case anyone has been living in a cave lately) just WHY Millennials are such a big deal to the wine industry right now, and why an industry blog written by one of us can be so valuable to individuals working in the business.

There are so many different parameters and definitions for The Millennial Generation – let’s clarify.  For the use of this blog, we’ll use the definition that Millennials are people born between the years 1977 and 2000.  There are between 70 and 76 million of us out there, and not even half of us are drinking age.

2008 Wine Market Council New Growth Chart

According to several studies and industry observations this is the generation that is generating the biggest growth in the core wine-drinking population.  Because of this trend and today’s market, this age group will be crucial in supporting the U.S. wine industry through the current recession.  John Gillespie, president of the Wine Market Council, suggests that Millennials are the future of the wine industry.  “What’s unique about Millennials is how quickly they are discovering and embracing wine as core consumers, rather than slowly incorporating wine into their lives as we’ve seen previous generations do,” says Gillespie.

There are between 70 and 76 million of us out there, and not even half of us are drinking age.

After switching careers from a big deal Hollywood talent agency into the world of wine, I wanted to get my hands on some research – and lots of it. Specifically the effects and prognosis of my generation on the industry. After searching, reviewing, subscribing, reading, listening and watching just about ANYTHING available, I’ve found some incredibly valuable information, interesting POVs, and some egregious fallacies.

The Millennier Blog seeks to share important information as it pertains to Millennials and wine, to bring in valuable feedback and opinions from millennials, and, when necessary, to call out the bull.*

This blog was built to help teach individuals in the wine industry how to reach out and tap into this next generation of wine consumers.

*First thing to learn about Millennials, if you don’t already know: We tend to speak our mind pretty freely.



Filed under Basics

5 responses to “Meet a Millennial

  1. Hi.
    Good post.
    Apart from being an important part of the future, do Milleniers have specific desires for certain styles of wine?
    I am intrigued by the classification Millenial, but I see (in the UK) a distinction between ‘new money’ and ‘old money’ for wine styles and preferences. The new money people are pioneers breaking new ground and searching, whilst the old money stays with the classics.
    Good luck with your blog and biz.


    • Hi Hamish & thanks for the kind words.

      In the U.S., this generation is normally known for it’s brand loyalty (think Apple, Coca Cola, etc.), HOWEVER, when it comes to wine we are overwhelmingly experimental.

      We tend to be even more “hyper-individual” than the Boomers and we are approaching wine as some people approach music – something special and unique that we find that says something about us as individuals.

      In this way, Millennials would be similar to the “new money” example that you used. Perhaps many of the same effects will apply. I’d be interested to find out.


  2. Hi Leah,
    Great post! My sister and I both reside in the “Millenial” group. We work very hard to try and promote our winery to this demographic, it makes it fairly easy since we are in this age range. But you have to stay up on things and don’t be afraid to experiment!!
    Check out our blog at I would love to hear your thoughts!

  3. Thank you for the thoughtful post. I have mixed feelings about marketing in general, and marketing to specific generational groups in particular but in reality line lovers are a diverse lot sharing similar interests in different ways. I have discussed and shared articles on Millennials on our winery blog.

    Frankly, I’d rather be making wine and sharing the wine lifestyle with wine lovers young and old. But we’ve never aspired to be anything but a quality low key producer.

    That said, I’d hope that “hyper-individual” Millennials would seek out small producers (aka Boutique Wineries) to find “special and unique” products and experiences that say something about themselves as individuals.

  4. David

    I would like to tell you about how my opinion on how to define a generation has evolved. At first, I believed that gen y really began in 1977 for 3 reasons:

    1. I saw a chart on the web that proves that the baby bust really ended in ’77 (it had a list of the annual birthrate for each year of the late 20th century). It showed 3.3 million births for that year and 3.1m for ’76.
    2. Those born in ’77 just came of age when the web first became available to the general public in ’95, hence the term “net generation” or another name for the millenials.
    3. Studies have shown that the late – ’70s babies were included in the 66 – 32 voting margin in favor of Obama, proving that they have very similar attitudes to those born in the ’80s.

    However, lately my opinion on this has changed. I now believe that ANYONE can be a millenial if he/she is tech – savvy, open – minded to ALL kinds of diversity, and is into the latest music and entertainment. Just like a 20 – year – old can be a baby boomer if she does not have a computer, is only open to racial diversity, and likes the Beatles.

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