Are Millennials Really A Unique Wine Generation?

millenI love this quote from the author of the Thomson Vineyards blog:

“Millennials are often referred to as the Demand Generation. We aren’t patient. We want instant and blissful gratification. And we want it to be a luxurious high-end experience that we can afford on our less than ideal wages not necessarily in line with the level of education we’ve all achieved.”

Wow. Instant gratification is a concept we can all relate to. But this guy suggests it’s unique to the Millennial Generation.


And who is the “Millennial Generation,” anyhow?

I’d read other articles about marketing gurus jumping on the Millennial bandwagon, so I decided I’d better figure out exactly who the latest Gen group includes  (remember Gen-X and Gen-Y?).  I did my research and discovered that Millennials are the children of Baby Boomers and are between 21 and 29 years old.

Huh — that means my kids and I represent both groups perfectly. So can I use me, my kids and my kids’ friends/classmates to do our own Focus Group Research Study About Millennial Views On Wine And Other Recreational Beverages?

Why not?

So I looked at my kids’ wine buying habits (in a scientifically rigorous manner, of course). They don’t have much of a track record with wine purchases, because being college/graduate students, they don’t have the money for anything more than a cheap buzz. Liquor gives the most buzz for your buck, and beer is used for sheer volume. Wine is something students drink when their parents are buying. In fact, they drink wine before or with (family) dinners, and order up beer or liquor when they head out to the bars at night.

These anecdotal observations agree with a very learned study conducted at a college in Northern California. That’s good, “But Wait, There’s More!”

When surveyed about the wines they choose to buy, Millennials said they preferred wines with labels that looked “fun and non-traditional”. Wine producers are obviously taking their preferences very seriously. I just reviewed a new entry to the Port market, Noval Black, that comes from a winery that’s been producing Port since 1715. That’s almost 300 years of winemaking history, and only now do they feel compelled to introduce a Port aimed directly at a younger crowd. Wow — this Millennial thing is very powerful.

So what does all this mean?? I think it means that “everything old is new again,” and every generation has to feel they’re doing things radically different than their stodgy old parents. I know that us Baby Boomers did just that, when we were the “young” generation way back when. Just like your parents’ music and fashion is lame and outdated, so are their drinking habits. Us Baby Boomers started a new trend by drinking wine instead of highballs at parties, and our kids are making their own traditions.

Good for them. Scientists can conduct studies, and marketing agencies can write business plans, but when it comes right down to it — we’re all just doing our own thing.


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5 Responses to “Are Millennials Really A Unique Wine Generation?”

  • I don’t think instant gratification is unique to any one generation, it’s a product of consumerism and the world we now live in being one where you can have it your way right away, screaming kids in grocery stores get given candy bars before heading to the check out just so their parents can get them to shut up immediately and grade schools are now jam packed with 8 years olds who can call their baby sitter their mobile if they’re just 5 minutes late picking them up. Instant gratification is magnified within the Millennial Generation because the information super highway is making it more possible to be in touch and get what you want via technology. As Millennials we, me, your kids haven’t had to wait for much.

    Thanks for reading the Thomson Vineyards blog. Your trackback unfortunately got kicked into the spam bucket, forcing me to wait more than 12 whole days to respond! PS the TV blog is certainly not instant gratification…I began it one year ago in an effort to sell wine grapes. That is all. Because it’s no fun farming something for 12 months only to drop it on the ground with no buyers for your Chardonnay. It has taken four generations just for our little family farming business to get noticed – and instead of our stellar fruit getting noticed, I get noticed for wearing patent leather heels and taking hits at 7-Eleven. Ha.

    Keep doing what you’re doing – because you’re absolutely right, we’re all just doing our own thing!

    The Millennial Daughter
    4th Generation – Thomson Vineyards

    • Thanks for responding. I’m with you on what it takes to make a go of a business these days. We’ve been running our fine wine and specialty beer store for more than 20 years, and we’ve slowly built a following. There was nothing “instant” about it, even though we’re often in the business of providing instant gratification.
      Today is that kind of day. It’s 3 days before Christmas and we’re in Retail Hell. We get way too many customers like the one who just walked in and wanted Christmas Ale NOW, even though it’s been sold out everywhere for 3 weeks and it’s his fault for not shopping sooner.
      But all that aside, I wish you the best with your business. You sound like an intense and committed young woman, much like my daughter. I’m thrilled there are so many great women in your generation.
      Debbie Lapmardo

  • Really love all these stories.. have been reading them daily. Please add more if you have any… Thanks a lot again for this awesome work.

  • One thing I have noticed in all your posts and I wanted to compliment you on is how good your English and grammar are. Where did you figure out how to write so well? It seems like you have a degree in writing from a University.

  • Fab, just fab! Love to see posts that make you feel alive. Too bad we do not get more of these. This made my soul smile….

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