Millenials Drink Nearly Half of All Wine in United States There has been a marked
increased in wine consumption by millennials, who drank 42% of all wine (159.6 million cases) in 2015 as
reported by the Wine Market Council (WMC). Millennials include those between the ages of 21 and 38 and now
make up the largest wine-consuming demographic in the United States (36% of all United States wine
drinkers). Data indicates that millennials are trading up, with the WMC survey showing that older millennials
were increasingly buying a bottle of wine costing over $20. I have two sons, who are both millennials and
educated professionals, and they definitely consume wine, but also craft beer and exotic cocktails. However,
neither one can afford to buy premium Pinot Noir that usually is priced above $50, and I wonder how this bodes
for the future premium Pinot Noir market. The Baby Boomers, those aged 51 to 69 and Generation X, those
aged 39 to 50, who make up the largest group of premium Pinot Noir consumers, have fallen to 36% and 34%
of all United States wine drinkers.
Consumers Still Prefer Chardonnay and Merlot The second annual report on American wine
consumer preferences was released in November 2015 by Sonoma State’s Wine Business Institute. The study
surveyed 1,072 wine consumers ages 21 to 68 (a relatively small sample in my mind). Even though sales of
Pinot Noir have increased in recent years, when subjects were asked to pick their favorite grapes from a list,
50% included Chardonnay and 49% Merlot, 41% included White Zinfandel, 40% Pinot Grigio, and 38%
Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir. Consumers reported that they preferred wines that were “fruity,” “semi
sweet,” and “smooth.” Only 26% preferred dry wine styles. About 5% of respondents usually spend over $25
per bottle for wine that is drank at home.
Moderate Alcohol Consumption Improves Lipid Profile The International Scientific Forum
on Alcohol Research critiqued a published study, “Support for a causal role of alcohol consumption in improving
the lipid profile,” found in PLos One 2016. The paper was based on data from more than 10,000 Americans of
European descent who participated in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study. The Forum
concluded that the study provided important data indicating that light-to-moderate alcohol consumption has
favorable effects on most lipid values. The effects shown for HDL-cholesterol support much earlier data, and
the effects on small dense LDL-cholesterol and ApoB provide key new information. The effects of lipids are
important factors in the protective effects of moderate drinking against cardiovascular disease that have been
reported in almost all well-done cohort studies. To read the full critique, go to www.bu.edu/alcohol-forum/
Wine Prevents Dementia Says Latest Study A review and analysis of almost 100 studies on the
subject found that moderate wine consumption significantly delays dementia. Dr. Jeremy Spencer led the
researchers who reported in the journal Safety, Consumer Preference, and Human Health. Phenols most
commonly found in red and sparkling wine can help to protect brain cells from damage and keep nerve and
brain cells communicating with other cells, thus countering the process that leads to Alzheimer’s Disease.
9th Annual Pebble Beach Food & Wine Festival Presented by Food & Wine, this 4-day event,
March 31-April 3, 2016, attracts revered chefs from across the globe as well as acclaimed wineries for cooking
demonstrations, wine tastings, and exclusive dining experiences set against the backdrop of Pebble Beach,
California. The impressive list of California and Oregon winery participants who are primarily Pinot Noir
producers includes: Antica Terra, Archery Summit, Belle Glos, Brooks, Chamisol, Domaine Anderson, DuMOL,
Failla, Hahn Family, Hanzell, Keller Estate, MacPhail, MacRostie, Melville, Patz & Hall, Pisoni, Samsara,
Testarossa, Three Sticks and Willamette Valley Vineyards. Tickets are available at www.PBFW.com.
Sonoma in the City - Houston On Tuesday, March 1, a grand tasting of over 200 wines from 16
distinctive Sonoma County regions will be featured along with an array of appetizers, artisan cheeses and
charcuterie. For tickets got to www.tastesonomahouston.eventbrite.com. Enter promotional code “friends” and
get a 40% discount on your ticket.
Jancis Robinson Launches Online Wine Course Renowned wine expert, Jancis Robinson,
has developed a wine course which can give even complete beginners an understanding of wine in a single
evening. The course includes 51 short lectures spread over 3.5 hours of video. Those that sign up for the
course ($71) have lifetime access to its lectures and a 30-day money back guarantee. It is available on iOS
and Android. Anyone beyond the initial stages of learning about wine will find this course interesting but less
beneficial. Visit www.udemy.com/mastering-wine-jancis-robinsons-shortcuts-to-success/ for more details.
8 Wineries have 60% of U.S. Wine Market According to Gomberg Fredrickson, Wine Institute
based on data excerpted from Silicon Valley Bank 2016 State of The Industry Report, Gallo (21%), Wine Group
(14%), Constellation (11%), Trinchero (4%), Bronco (3%), Treasury (3%), Delicato (3%) and Jackson Family
(1%) have 60% of the U.S. wine market while 7,654 other wineries have 40% of the U.S. wine market.
Report of Leading Grape Varieties Crushed in California in 2015 The USDA, National
Agricultural Statistics Service, California Pacific Regional Office reported the percentage of each grape variety
crushed out of the total 2015 California grape harvest. Thanks to Lewis Purdue of
www.wineindustryinsight.com for this graph.
Sideways The Play to Debut in London. in 2016 According to www.decanter.com, a play of the
Oscar-winning film Sideways will open at St. James Theater in London on May 26, 2016. The play will offer
additional scenes not in the movie and other special features and twists, as well as dialogue from the novel that
weren’t used in the film. (Photo credit: St. James Theater)
International Wine Film Festival Debuts This 3 week event series offers the best in wine-themed
video from February 14 - March 5, 2016. This innovative experience was started by Wil Fernandez (the man
behind the film, Vintage 2014) and is the first event of its kind. A number of wine and film events will be held in
Santa Barbara County at vineyard locations, culminating in a screening of winning films at the Bacara Resort
on March 5, hosted by Fred Dame MS. The screening in the Bacara Theater is open free to all WOPN early
admission Saturday Grand Tasting ticket holders. Visit www.winefilmfestival.com and www.facebook.com/
Linfield College in Oregon Launches Wine Studies Program Linfield College, located in
McMinnville in the Willamette Valley of Oregon and the long time home of the International Pinot Noir Festival
held each July, will begin offering students a wine studies minor to accompany their major degree of choice.
Linfield’s faculty are involved in wine research projects, the campus houses the Oregon Wine History Project
and wine archives, and the private college’s president, Dr. Thomas L. Hellie, is a wine enthusiast and advocate.
Petaluma Gap Wineries River Cruise Four Petaluma Gap wineries will be on board for “Cruising
The Rhone River” on the AmaCello, March 23-30, 2017. The wine hosts are Ana Keller of Keller Estate,
Alexandre Remy of Agnitio Wines, Evan Pontoriero of Fogline Vineyards and Rickey Trombetta Stancliff and
Erica Stancliff of Trombetta Family Wines. Experience four-course winemaker dinners, hosted tastings and
seminars featuring more than 20 Petaluma Gap wines as you cruise through France’s Rhone River Valley. The
7-night cruise is $2,149 per person. For information, contact Expedia CruiseShipCenters, North Bay:
firstname.lastname@example.org and 877-651-7447.
Russian River Valley Single Vineyard Night Small lot, single vineyard wines from the Russian
River Valley will be poured Thursday, April 7, 2016, in Sacramento, CA, at Library Galleria. Sponsored by the
Russian River Winegrowers, more than 20 wineries will be present including Balletto Vineyards & Winery,
Davis Family Vineyards, Dutton-Goldfield Winery, J Vineyards & Winery, MacRostie Winery & Vineyards, Matrix
Winery, Siduri, Sojourn Cellars and The Calling. Tickets: www.eventbrite.com.
Vinotemp Zero-G Suspended Cable Wine Racking System This is a new and modern
storage solution for your wine collection that caught my eye. When installed in a cabinet, the racking creates
the illusion that your bottles are floating due to the configuration of wood blocks and aluminum rods. Racking
and finish can be customized to accommodate your largest Pinot Noir bottles. Check it out at