It used to be a standard part of many peoples’ lives. Have a glass of wine or two with dinner. Get together with friends and open up a bottle of wine. But in 2019, for the first time in 25 years, wine drinking actually decreased. Fewer people were drinking wine.
It’s not that they’re all drinking beer, either. Beer drinking also dropped.
What are people drinking instead?
It seems a big part of it is people are tired of the “hassle” involved with wine. You have to have a corkscrew for many bottles. Even for the screwcap bottles, you still need reasonable glasses to enjoy the wine out of. Most people don’t drink the wine straight out of the bottle.
What’s gaining immensely in popularity are ready-to-drink items already in a container. Things like bottled alcoholic hard seltzer. Bottled alcoholic hard cider. Things you can just grab out of the fridge, pop the top, and drink. No muss, no fuss. Also, no need to worry about ‘finishing the whole bottle’. You get your one serving and you’re done.
Let’s note that they aren’t even talking about the PERCENTAGE of people drinking wine. They’re talking about actual volumes of wine sold. So even as the population rises, there is less wine being drunk. That shows a real trend.
Maybe it would help if wineries sold their wines in cans. Some wineries are now doing that. But it might also help if wine changed its image a bit. Right now many people think of wine as something you have to pay attention to and savor. Something that you can be laughed at if you get it wrong.
Sure, there are some wines out there absolutely worth savoring. And there are some wine-food pairings which are absolutely delicious. But every person should be able to drink what they want, however they want. Want ice cubes in your chardonnay? Sure thing! Want to drink it out of a tall glass with some strawberries in it? Enjoy!
Because, if we cause wineries to go out of business because there aren’t enough drinkers out there any more to support them, we’ll all lose out.
Here’s the base data: