Vinitaly and Slow Wine Tastings – Part 1, Just Some Numbers
For anyone who is into wine (oenophile, aficionado, snob, add here any moniker you like), learning more about their favorite subject becomes an object of insatiable desire, an obsession, if you will (of course I’m not hinting at any “wine exclusivity” here – feel free to substitute wine with any passion you have in life). Learning about the wine is long, tedious and super-expensive process – just reading and talking about the wine is not enough, you actually have to deep your tongue into one occasionally, and this is where your passion gets you. Thus in my opinion, nothing represents more valuable learning opportunity than a wine tasting or a professional wine show – you get to learn, experience and talk to the people who are equally passionate about your favorite subject.
There are many great wine shows all over the world, and the good news is that more of those wine shows come to US. Thus when I read Stefano’s note in the Flora’s Table blog that Vinitaly is coming to New York, I got very excited. Vinitaly is the biggest wine show in the world – definitely when it takes place in Verona, Italy (last year’s stats – 4 days, 4,000 wineries, 140,000 visitors), so you can understand my excitement. Luckily, it was much smaller event than the one in Verona, but still sufficiently overwhelming. To add to that excitement, Vinitaly joined forces with Slow Wine, which is a part of Slow Food movement, promoting true food and wine appreciation all over the world. To give you a very short summary – yeah, there was a lot of wine.
Before the tasting started, there was a presentation by John Gillespie, President of Wine Market Council, about state of US wine market according to 2012 consumer survey. While I was unable to capture the graphics, I did manage to capture some numbers. And while there are lies, damn lies and statistics, I want to share some of the numbers with you – whether they are right or wrong, it is still fun to process them. And to make it more fun, I will add pictures of wines, most of which I didn’t taste during the event (I will talk about those we tasted in the next post).
Here we go. Out of 228M adults living in US, 100m drink wine, 50m drink beer and spirits only, and 78M abstain (mind boggling – how can they live with themselves?). If you think about it, there are more wine drinkers in US than overall population of many wine drinking and wine producing countries ( we certainly beat Germany, France and may others).
There were estimated 295 million cases of wine consumed in US in 2012, and 2011 number was 287M cases. Overall, there are 19 consecutive years of growth in wine consumption in US so far. US drinkers consumes more than 3 gallons of wine per adult.
Core wine drinkers (those who drink wine at least once a week) represent 25% of population, and 22% are non-core. Out of those core drinkers, 11% drink the wine daily, and 28% are weekly.
Out of the all wine drinkers, 51% are females, 49% are males.
Categorizing further, 40% are baby boomers, 20% gen X and Millenials represent 28%.
Next series of stats covers international wines – don’t forget, it was the presentation during Vinitaly, so wine imports definitely were of a major interest. For this imported wine survey, there were 1000 responders, 54% of them baby boomers, 52% male, 48% female.
In consumer panel, 34% were daily wine drinkers, and 52% were weekly.
In the imported wine category, France leads white wine purchases, and Italy leads red wine purchases.
Italy, France and Australia wines are most popular in the stores – promoted and marketed.
France, Spain and Italy are on top in degree of satisfaction from the wine purchased, and Spain and Italy lead satisfaction in under $20 category.
In the likelihood of having wine on hand in many different price and type categories, Italy is trailing California (but the gap is substantial).
Here are few more numbers, now based on US wine trade survey.
There were 400 respondents, with the same age category distribution as in Consumer Survey. France, Germany and Spain are the leading three in under $20 white or rose. Spain, France and Italy are leading in red under $20 category. France, Spain, Italy are leading in reds $20-$50.
Spain, California and then Italy are leading in recommended wines under $20 (Spain has a big lead). In $20-$50 category, France and Italy lead recommended wines group, then California and Spain is quite a bit behind.
Overall imported wines consumption in US hovers around 30%.
I don’t know what you think about all these numbers, but many of them make perfect sense to me, like Spain being in the lead in under $20 red wine category – I personally would look at Spanish red wines before I will look at anything else, if I’m looking for inexpensive wine.
For what it’s worth, I would like to leave you for today with those numbers – and we will talk about wines in the next post. Cheers!