Home > Experiences, Wine Tasting > Vinitaly and Slow Wine Tastings – Part 1, Just Some Numbers

Vinitaly and Slow Wine Tastings – Part 1, Just Some Numbers

February 11, 2013 Leave a comment Go to comments

VinItaly and Slow Wine logoFor 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.

DSC_0061 Stemmari Mezzacorona

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).

DSC_0064 Feuda Arancio

Somehow music written on the label strikes the cord. I wonder if it can be played?

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.

DSC_0069 Villa Bucci

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.

DSC_0067 Menegolli

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).

DSC_0077 Cesari

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%.

DSC_0078 Carpineto

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.

DSC_0065 Arancio Red

More wine and music

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!

  1. Kim
    February 11, 2013 at 11:34 pm

    These numbers are really intriguing! Especially the 78 million adults who abstain from alcohol. That has to be a mistake! I’ve noticed that I’m gravitating toward Spanish wines lately, so I’m on the lookout for under $20 Spanish reds now more than ever. Looking forward to the next post. Have fun!

  2. February 12, 2013 at 2:40 am

    Very nice and detailed write up, Anatoli: those stats are really interesting, they give you a bit more color about various aspects of the US wine market.
    Take care

    • talkavino
      February 12, 2013 at 10:47 am

      Thanks Stefano, I think the numbers are very interesting – hope I captured them all correctly

  3. February 12, 2013 at 4:05 am

    Thanks for sharing these numbers, Anatoli.
    Considering that there so many US wine consumers I wonder why wine in general is so much more expensive than it is in Europe (at least that’s what I’ve been told by Americans).
    Looking very much forward to the post about the wines you actually tried 🙂

    Slow Wine is coming to Munich February 28th. I will probably go there 🙂

    • talkavino
      February 12, 2013 at 10:53 am

      Julian, I think the cost of wine is a very complicated subject here, you should avoid using too big of a brush to paint the picture. There is tremendous pricing diversity in any store in US – prices start from $2.99 (or $2.49 in Trader Joe’s) and go into the hundreds. You can’t really say “wine is expensive in US” – this is to wide of a statement…

      • February 12, 2013 at 11:21 am

        I thought it was clear that I talk about quality wine. I remember Jeff saying that the 2$ wine at the Fundraiser he attended was undrinkable. I think you have to compare a wine that retails for lets says 15$ or 20$ to European prices. I always assumed that you were of the opinion, too that prices in the US for wine are too high.
        As far as I know, Oliver criticizes US wine prices quite often.

        • talkavino
          February 12, 2013 at 11:51 am

          Listen, I’m not trying to pick up a fight : ) this is a long conversation , better done with the wine glass in hand. US is a big place, with alcohol laws which are all over the place – your success in finding good inexpensive wines depends on the access to the good wine store (if you live close to Trader Joe’s which sells wines, you are in a great shape – they have a plethora of very enjoyable wines at $5.99 or less). If your state allows direct shipping, you can get outstanding wines from WTSO or LastBottle starting from $6. To say “wines are expensive in US” is just not a fair statement…

  4. February 12, 2013 at 7:03 am

    Wow, three gallons is a lot of wine to drink in a day. I need to try and catch up!

    • talkavino
      February 12, 2013 at 10:55 am

      well, this is nothing compare to the number I saw today: “The average American consumes more than six pounds of peanuts and peanut butter products each year” – now this is impressive… You can do 3 gallons of wine per day, can’t you?
      : )

  5. February 12, 2013 at 10:55 am

    Thanks for the numbers, Anatoli! 3 gallons is 12 bottles in a year! That’s not all that much. One every three weeks? Holy smokes…

    • talkavino
      February 12, 2013 at 10:59 am

      Oliver, if someone would survey our small shibang of passionate wine bloggers on the same subject, I’m sure it would scare the rest of the population to death : )

      • February 12, 2013 at 11:00 am

        Hehehe…we should throw out those numbers at the media. I like to scare people…

  6. February 14, 2013 at 11:32 am

    When is it happening in NY!? Would LOVE to go!

  7. February 14, 2013 at 11:34 am

    Ah shoot i missed it! oh well 🙂

    • talkavino
      February 14, 2013 at 11:42 am

      Sorry, yes, this already took place. Gambero Rosso event takes place in NYC tomorrow (Feb. 15th)

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