The TTB (US organization that approves wine labels) approved 125,000 labels in 2018, this means that right now in the US market we have that many amounts of wines which include domestic and imported. There’s no way for any of us to know/ taste all of these wines! But, I guess one thing is for sure we will never be bored, there will be plenty of wine to try and enjoy! Now, competition for your $$$ is fierce, so what are these people doing to get your attention? One thing panelists agreed was investments on E commerce and wine education, let’s face it, millennials do everything online, and wine should be one of these things, but things aren’t that easy.
After prohibition ended in the US in 1933, instead of regulating the commercialization of wines federally, the government gave each state the power to legislate the selling of alcohol, this created what is called the 3 tier system. Importer buys from winery, sells to the distributor, who sells to the restaurant owner and/or retailer who then sells to you. In the case of domestic producers, wineries sell to distributor, who sells to the restaurant and/ or retailer, who then sells to you. And of course every tier includes a mark up/ profit that it is included in the price you pay for each bottle of wine. This is why wine is more expensive in the US than in Europe for example, but I will talk about this in another post. The thing is that each state of the union regulates things their way and so there are states where is possible and legal to buy wines directly from a winery or out of state retailer since direct shipping is allowed, and there are others where it is not possible.
In the case of NJ where La Wina lives, we need to get a permit that will allow me to receive up to 12 cases per wine per year, in other states, like Kentucky it’s prohibited. By the way, Winos in NY will also need a permit but they can receive more wine, up to 36 cases of wine per person per year. If you want to find out more about the legislation in your state and how this affects you, do so here.
So, it may take some time to change things i.e legislation, I’m sure people at Amazon will love to sell wines as they sell any other stuff to you! honestly I would love to pay less. But until the law is changed we are limited by it.
Still the panel said that this is coming, since it’s very convenient for the consumer and things are moving very fast these days. There is a case at the Supreme Court that may change this soon, (July/ August) if the Supreme Court votes in favor of direct shipping, most states will follow suit. I will follow up on this important matter on another post.
As far as buying online, I must confess that I do it from my favorite retailer in NJ, not only because the store is on my way home from work, but whenever I order online my wine costs less, like $1 or $2 less per bottle, so I just do it, I choose my wines online, the store prepares my order and send me an email when it’s ready to be picked up. Super easy!
Wineries and retailers should continue to invest in modernizing their webpages, in creating apps to generate loyalty, in sending newsletters to advertise their products, etc. to attract more of your business.
Regarding wine styles, three trends are here to stay, and these are: Prosecco or any inexpensive sparkling wine that is not Champagne. Sales of Prosecco are increasing and let’s face it, this is not happening only in the holiday months but all year around, people are in love with bubbles! and are consuming Prosecco even in winter.
Rosé wines are also another favorite of the masses, especially from California, France and Spain. By the way, Rosé is no longer a lady’s wine, with men accounting for 47% of all Rosé sales worldwide.
And my favorite, since I do love this wine, and I can definitely drink it every night: New Zealand (Marlborough) Sauvignon Blanc. Sales continue to raise and will continue to do so for my favorite white.
Another good trend in consumption, is that consumers are finally trading up, meaning they are not always buying the cheapest wines out there and are looking forward to spending a little more. With a serious increase in the $20-$30 category. Men spend more money than women on wine (59%) and they also drink more of it and more frequently. Though both genres consume wine at least once a month, equally 50/50, consumption rises to 58% for the male category with ages between 21-34. By the way almost 90,000,000 people consume wine in the US.*
Regarding what Americans drink, according to the Impact Databank statistics, 75.3% of all wine drunk is domestic and only 24.7 is imported. On the top of the list is Italy, France, Australia, Chile, Argentina, New Zealand, Spain, Germany and Portugal.
Now that Spring is here some recommendations based on these wines trends:
La Marca Extra Dry Prosecco NV $12
Mionetto Extra Dry Prosecco NV, $15
New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs:
Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2017,$14
Tuatea Sauvignon Blanc 2018, $8
Kono Sauvignon Blanc 2017, $14
Bodegas Muga Rosado 2017 $14
Jolivet Attitude Rosé 2017 $16
Mulderbosch Rosé 2017 $10
Miraval Rosé 2017 $ 20
*Numbers provided by Wine Intelligence® and Impact Databank®.