Millennials now make up the majority of wine drinkers in the US, according to a study.
The figures, from America's Wine Market Council, run thus: 36 per cent of all US wine drinkers are Millennials, taking over from Baby Boomers (51 to 69-year-olds) for the first time. The latter now makes up around 34 per cent of wine drinkers, compared to Generation X (39 to 50-year-olds), now a mere 18 per cent.
Moreover, the study suggests that the wine category is in growth – Americans drank 2.5 per cent more wine last year than the previous one.
Given drinking trends still have a tendency to start over the Atlantic, this is a report worth noting. In fact, it is possible to already sniff out a few signs that something similar is happening in our own market.
There has been a plethora of fruit-flavoured wines launched, for example, such as Echo Falls Fruit Fusions that have been well received by the millennial crowd.
At this years London Wine Fair back in May there was also evidence of some actual innovation in wine (and in nearly 15 years of writing about wine I can say that is unusual).
On their stand Kingsland Wines unveiled the results of its latest investment, a carbonated bottling line that can make any wine sparkling. Bordeaux Grand Cru fans may huff but the sparkling Pinot Grigio and white Zinfandel that were on show seem bang on for a younger, unpretentious market.
Also at the event were a handful of trendier wine brands, much like those launched by Crown Cellars last month – Bad Eye Deer and Box of Budgies. These follow launches last year by Morgenrot and E&J Gallo, both of which also brought out wines with branding more akin to craft beer than wine.
Admittedly, this doesn't yet add up to quite the wine revolution we can see happening in the US (Google "Wine Riot events" for a start) but that craft reference above is key.
Key because wine is able to easily tap into all those craft cues that have propelled craft beer into the big time – provenance, handmade, small batch and family owned.
So there we have it, wine: the next craft beer.