Food & Drink

A decline in growth is seen in wine data from ’18

Wine Line would like to thank the distinguished Professor of Wine, Researcher and Journalist, Dr. Liz Thach MW, for compiling the most recent wine data from 2018. This data assists her in teaching wine business classes at Sonoma State University and allows me to pick and choose what I think you might find interesting. Wine consumption in the US market slowed to only 1.2 percent in volume but despite the slow growth, the dollar value grew 3.7 percent in 2018. This suggests that Americans may be drinking less but are choosing higher quality wines and are spending more per bottle. The sweet spot price for off-premise sales continues to be $11.99-$14.99 with 8 percent growth and $15-$19.99 at 10 percent growth. Wines priced less than $10 showed no growth.

Some of the reasons for the decline in growth are: 1. The aging boomer generation is drinking less due to health reasons. 2. Millennials are not drinking as much wine as had been predicted. 3. New substitute products like cider, cannabis, creative craft beer and spirits are taking its place. 4. There is an increased focus on healthy food and less alcohol.

Still, the US remains the largest wine consuming country in the world. The total volume of wine sold in 2018 was 408 million cases. The most popular wine varietals by volume continue to be Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, red blends, Pinot Grigio and Pinot Noir.

There are 9,997 wineries in the US with California leading the way with 4,425, producing 85 percent of the wine. Washington has (776), Oregon (773), New York (396), Texas (323) and Virginia (280). Forty percent of the legal drinking population (240 million people) drink wine, 34 percent drink other alcohol and 26 percent do not drink. Of wine drinkers, 56 percent are women to 44 percent for men. The per capita consumption is 11 liters (2.94 gallons) which is much lower than in many other countries.

The Taste and Toast of the Tower

This event is the oldest Wine Walk in Fresno. Held in the Historic Tower District, this year’ walk is May 9 from 5:30 to 8:30 pm. More than a dozen wineries will be pouring and a dozen restaurants will offering tasty samples for just $30. Sign me up!

Check Facebook for more details. What’s on our table this week is the Talbott 2016 Kali Hart Chardonnay. This Double Gold Medal winner from the Santa Lucia Highlands has flavors of pear, pineapple and melon and a clean medium long finish. It’s what I think a Chardonnay should be. Sale price should be around $20 and I suggest a multiple bottle purchase. Cheers!

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