On this episode of the “VinePair Podcast,” hosts Adam Teeter, Joanna Sciarrino, and Zach Geballe discuss why the wine industry has failed to connect with millennials. A recent report shows that wine’s market share decreased among the younger generations of drinkers over the last year, and our hosts want to know why.
While the beer and spirits industries have been quick to adapt to the changing desires of drinkers, wine has been more reluctant to change. How can the industry adapt and cater to the needs of millennial and Gen Z consumers? Our hosts weigh in on these topics and more.
Tune in to learn more.
Or Check Out the Conversation Here
Adam Teeter: From VinePair’s New York City headquarters, I’m Adam Teeter.
Joanna Sciarrino: And I’m Joanna Sciarrino.
Zach Geballe: In Seattle, Washington, I’m Zach Geballe.
A: And this is the “VinePair Podcast” from the office with the heater in the background. It is New York steam heat, man. Zach, you probably don’t miss New York steam heat.
Z: There are so many things I miss about New York, but that’s not one of them.
A: It’s the worst.
J: Excuse the hiss, listeners.
A: We’re literally in the studio and there’s a f*cking heater in the studio and it just is hissing away. And there’s nothing you can do about it until this stupid radiator is done. So we really apologize.
Z: Adam, what was it like to be somewhere where you definitely did not need a heater?
A: Oh, it was the best.
J: Welcome back. We missed you.
A: Thank you. I know you did. I’m not sure Zach did.
J: Of course he did.
A: Did you guys have fun when I was going?
J: Yes, we had Mr. Infante on the pod. It’s always nice to have his take.
A: Yeah, he’s funny. Good guy. Smart.
J: We missed you.
A: Oh, thank you. Well, what have you guys been drinking? Zach, Dry January is over for you. So, what have you been up to?
Z: I’m back, baby. There are two things I’ve had of note since January ended. I broke the seal with a bottle of Billecart-Salmon Brut Rosé, which is my favorite rosé Champagne. Caitlin was very happy to have some company drinking.
J: Was Caitlin dry as well?
Z: No. So she was glad to have some company in the drinking world. I also just had a beer from a brewery that I’ve talked about a few times on here, Fremont Brewing. I had their cold IPA, which they call Baxter. They did a series named after people’s pets that work there. Keep your eyes peeled; there may be more about cold IPAs coming in the future. It’s an interesting, new-ish category of IPA that’s vaguely connected to some previous efforts to do hopped lagers and or IPLs. It has a different methodology behind it, and they’re interesting. One of the things that has made them appealing is that they got one thing about the real popularity of the New England IPA or the hazy IPA, which is the smoothness of it. There are a lot of things in the production process, and to some extent the base materials that are designed around providing a smoother texture and also a lot of hoppiness. So that was an interesting thing for me to try, because I’ve heard a little bit about the category, but haven’t really tried many things in it. So I’m exploring it a little bit. How about you, Joanna?
J: I definitely want to try that, too. It sounds really interesting to me. For me, nothing too crazy interesting. I actually just finished moving out of our apartment over this past weekend.
J: Thank you. So that was quite the headache. But before we moved out, I had an opportunity to get some beers from our local Torch & Crown Brewery, which I mentioned before. We got some lagers from there: an American lager and a dark lager. It was really easy-drinking and tasted really, really good after schlepping a bunch of boxes. That’s the most interesting thing I’ve been drinking.
A: What are you going to miss? Is there a bar or a place that you like to drink in the neighborhood that you are going to miss the most?
J: Yes, there’s our local dive called Puffy’s Tavern. I love Puffy’s Tavern. It’s been there for a while in Tribeca, and we went there all the time. We will definitely miss Puffy’s and a bunch of other places in the neighborhood. I’m very sad to leave. But yes, that was my weekend. Moving is horrible, everyone. Don’t move. What about you, Adam? Tell us all about your escapades.
A: Oh, my escapades in the Dominican Republic? I drank a lot of Presidente beer and a lot of Brugal Rum. It was a family vacation. So it was my parents, my uncle, some of his kids. It wasn’t the whole family, so it wasn’t truly a family vacation, but it was relatives. Naomi was there. Obviously, she was invited. They all, obviously, know about VinePair and were like, “Adam, you make drinks.” So I made Daiquiris one night and then another night I made Jungle Birds. There was a little beach bar that we went to one night and I did have a Piña Colada, because I had to.
J: It’s required.
A: They are really delicious, they’re quite tasty. So that was what I got into. Then I came back to New York. I missed the snowstorm, which was awesome. And now it’s just cold and rainy and great.
A: It’s just the best. I don’t know if either of you’ve done the late January/February beach vacation. Never in my life.
J: It’s a lot of families right?
A: But a lot of people are really into it, right? We have a few VinePair staffers that are out doing that vacation. I kind of understand why people do it now. For five days, it’s hot and you’re jumping in the pool and going swimming. Then you come back like, “OK, now it feels like I only really have a month and a half or so left of winter.” It is definitely something that I see the appeal of now. I’ve never done an all-inclusive before. I don’t think I’m going to do one anytime soon. We were just in a house, which was nice — although it’s more work. You’re cooking, cleaning, and all that stuff. But there were a lot of mosquitoes.
J: Whatever, you had Piña Coladas.
A: Exactly. On today’s episode, we’re going to talk about a piece of news that came out a few weeks ago. It’s something we’ve wanted to talk about for a while, but this gives us our news hook. Silicon Valley Bank put out a report on the state of the wine industry. They do this every year. One of the really big topics in that report is that wine is continuing to lose market share to spirits, specifically. A bit to beer, but it’s really spirits. This adoption that everyone thought was coming, of millennials to wine, really doesn’t seem to be happening. It’s much more millennials to spirits. There’s a lot of people trying to ask why that’s happened. I have very clear reasons. Before I give my thoughts on it, I’m curious, is this a report that either of you expected to hear?
J: I’m happy to share. I think that this makes sense to me. As a person in that generation, the generation in question, wine is kind of hard. Fine wine, specifically, is kind of impenetrable. Also, there’s a lot of drinks on the market as well. As a result, there’s just more choice. I think there are fewer people who are loyal to just wine because there’s a lot more to choose from. So it doesn’t surprise me that wine is losing market share to millennials. What’s more surprising is that it’s going to spirits. I’m curious to know both of your thoughts on why that’s happening. Why is it going to spirits? What about you, Zach?
Z: This didn’t surprise me at all. I’ve been a professional in a few different facets, so it’s obviously going to be somewhat of an extreme among my age cohort, just because of what we all do professionally. I don’t expect people our age to have a similar level of interest. But mine has always outstripped the people around me, to some extent. The report is pegged around the notion that the oldest subset of millennials are reaching 40. And the wine industry has traditionally understood that, especially with fine wine, it’s not expecting to get a huge market share among 21- to 30-year-olds. Wine is generally more expensive. It has premium connotations. It’s not traditionally been a party drink. So it makes sense that the industry as a whole wasn’t exactly fretting about market share among millennials when we were a decade younger. Now, I think that’s where this concern is starting to really bubble up. Adam, your theory connects to how wine has been “pitched” to our generation. In addition to all those things, it’s important to look at some of the broader challenges that our generation has faced. Not as much wealth in younger professional life. It’s just harder, people leave school with more college debt than people had in previous generations. It’s harder to buy a house. People are having kids later or not at all. All these things work either directly or indirectly against wine. In addition to that, there’s something very true to what you were getting at, Joanna, which is, there’s just more out there for people who are interested in drinking to explore. Hard alcohol has been de-stigmatized in this country a lot. When we were younger and other generations were the prime drinking cohort, with the exceptions are with Martinis and your Manhattans, your kind of ’50s and ’60s “Mad Men” era, if you drank a lot of liquor, you were an alcoholic. That was the message that was given out. And I don’t think that is as true.
J: There’s cocktail culture now.
Z: All these things have really made drinking hard alcohol and drinking liquor more acceptable as a regular thing. As opposed to a “once-in-a-while,” celebratory thing. That also cuts against wine.
J: And also celebrity endorsements, too, which makes a lot of sense.
Z: The last piece of this is that I don’t necessarily agree. The Silicon Valley Bank report is sometimes put together really, really well. It’s very informative, but it’s also a little bit myopic or at least a little bit limited in what it’s really, truly looking at. There’s no doubt that high-end California brands might be struggling to connect with millennials. But if you look at some of the other facets of the wine industry, they’re doing just fine with our generation. It’s just our generation, as an aggregate, might not be interested in high-end, full-bodied red wines from Northern California. That doesn’t mean wine is doomed. Sometimes it gets portrayed that way. It might mean certain industries, or certain wineries and certain regions, might have some trouble or certainly might need to think about what they’re doing and whether it will continue to resonate moving forward. But wine as a category is so diverse, and its diversity has also come to the forefront over the last couple of decades. People are exploring wine from all over the world in a way that was absolutely not true with previous generations.
J: I agree with that.
A: I agree with that. I’ve had some conversations with people since this. When we talk about this report, it really is looking at the data of the large producers. That being said, the wine industry really f*cked this up. I’m about to spit some truth here.
J: Hold on to your hats, people.
A: They really f*cked this up. I spent half an hour on the phone a few days ago with Dale Stratton of the Wine Market Council. We were talking about this report, and I told him that I was preparing for the podcast and I was running some of my thoughts off him. He was at Gallo for 22 years, Constellation for 11 years, and now runs the Wine Market Council, and he also has seen this problem coming. Here’s what happened. Up until about 2017, the wine industry was drunk on the fact that basically all you had to do, as Dale said, was wake up in the morning and you made money. It didn’t really matter. They were also seeing all these reports from basically everybody that the millennials were coming. “The millennials are coming, they’re going to love wine, they’re going to love wine.” So they really didn’t do much. Unlike the other two categories they compete against, the leadership in these companies also stayed pretty antiquated. During the early teens and even the late aughts, you didn’t have the promotion of younger generations coming in and saying, “OK, I’m going to take over these roles at.” Besides a few of the more forward-thinking companies, you had an older generation of people who have become very reliant on the way wine has always been marketed. Which is, let’s be honest, through in-store display, placement on the shelf, and then two to three antiquated publications. I know they’re our competitors, but I don’t care. It’s just true. This generation doesn’t read those. That’s why they’re reading publications like VinePair. That’s why they read Eater or Food52 — your old publication, Joanna, things like that. They’re not reading these publications, but wine hasn’t adapted. They’re still talking to what they think are the most influential publications, and they’re not. So they’re not growing. Meanwhile, spirits and craft beer specifically, and now I think beer as a whole, really was like, “We’re going to come and talk to millennials. We’re going to meet them. We’re going to make things accessible. We’re going to create cool brands. We’re going to interact with their favorite people. We’re going to spend money.” Just to be fair, the majority of our advertisers at this point are spirits brands. That’s not because we go out and talk to all of them. It’s because they come to us like, “If everyone’s reading you who are in this generation, we need to talk to them.”
J: It’s a specific generation. Exactly.
A: It’s very rare that we have a lot of wine companies. That’s just one anecdotal total data point, but it’s very true across the board of what they’re doing. The other thing is, Dale and I talked a little about this. They misunderstand what millennials are willing to pay. They think, “Oh, millennial means cheap.” Dale said, when you look at the money, millennials are spending a lot of money on spirits. They’re buying brands like 1942 and Hennessy. They’re buying expensive products. Zach, I agree with you that there’s a little bit of that, what they’re making and how it’s harder to buy a house, etc., but they still are all about perception among their peers. When they do spend, they’re going to spend. What the Wine Market Council said, and what we’ve been saying at VinePair for years, that $20 is the average. So stop trying to sell them the cheaper sh*t. Here’s why: because they’re friends f*cking look it up. You can find the price of wine anywhere now very easily. Wine-Searcher has been around forever, right? All you have to do is go on Wine-Searcher and bring a bottle to my house. I go, “Joanna is f*cking cheap, man, she brought me an $8 bottle of wine. I just made this whole dinner for an $8 bottle.” They do that. People look at it in their Instagram stories. They’re watching people like LeBron James post bottles. Wine is still sitting here being like, “Oh, we need to do gimmick brands for them. We need to do $10 and $12 brands for them.” No. The reason why natural wine is popular is because it is speaking to millennials in a way that feels accessible but still high brow.
J: A premium mediocre, right?
A: With premium-looking labels that aren’t what your parents drank. At prices they’re still willing to pay. I just can’t believe that at these bigger companies, you see these brands and they think this is a millennial brand? Like, they went out and got a skateboard artist or something. What the f*ck is this? The spirits companies have done a much better job of bringing in younger talent, trying to understand what the market is promoting, stealing from each other. The wine brands that are trying to catch up are stealing talent from spirits brands, because that’s what they need to do. Then you say, “OK, so what’s working? Let’s go to LVMH and steal. Let’s go to Diageo and steal.” That’s where I think innovation will come from. The question is, is it too late? I don’t think that it is, but a lot of blame has to be put on the face of the wine industry. They are used to a model where all it takes is scores. Zach, you and I talk about this. How many times have we said for at least six, seven years, “Why does anyone give a f*ck about scores?” Why is this what they are still paying attention to? And producer profiles, they don’t need to read another profile of another family in their f*cking vineyards to be convinced. Instead they want to know, how was it made? How are the workers treated? Is it sustainable? What is everything going into this? Is it lightweight glass? Maybe they’re not buying California wine, because they’re sick of how heavy the bottles are. There’s so many things that the wine industry’s not listening to. Then again, they’re just doing the same thing they’ve always done. Let’s submit to these three publications. Let’s hope we get the scores of these publications or these critics. Let’s spend the majority of our marketing dollars there, and let’s see what happens. I know that someone’s going to say, again, this is sour grapes coming from Adam because he wishes they’d advertise with VinePair. Honestly, I don’t care. We’re fine. What I care about is that I love wine, and I’m very upset when I see things like this, because I fell in love with beverage through wine. I thought wine was this incredible thing that allows you to travel the world. Probably in the same way that you did, Zach. It was this intoxicating thing. So it pisses me off that they are getting it so wrong. And I’m having to convince my friends to drink it instead of the spirits they now enjoy. They say, “Well, this is cool. Wine’s not cool.” And it’s because they’re not reading about wine in any of the publications they read, or in any of the things that they do. Wine: Snap the f*ck out of it and fix it. You got to or else it’s going to be a problem. You’re going to have to wait for the next generation.
J: I think it’s really interesting. You mention it, wine is not cool, but then we see natural wines. It’s trying to be cool and it’s resonating with people. They’re charging for it, and the labels are cool, and it’s cool looking, and it’s cool to drink. It’s such an interesting thing that’s developed as a result of what you’re talking about.
A: And publications like ours are writing about it. The other publications like Bon Appétit, they’re all writing about it. And those wines are not submitting for ratings.
J: No, no, not at all. Because they don’t care. Because we’ll write about them because it’s cool.
A: It’s really fascinating.
Z: On top of that, there’s another element of this shifting landscape. You make a really good point, Adam. Not only was there a lot of laziness in the wine industry, but also people got really used to a demographic and a cohort, mostly baby boomers and to some extent Gen X . There was a plug-and- play formula. We’ve talked about Parkerization on the podcast before. Robert Parker gets demonized for it, and yeah, he played a role in it. But really, truly, part of it was just the wine buying populace wanting the same thing over and over and over again. They wanted the same kind of wine. Maybe they wanted it from a different place, from a new label, something they could get their hands on. But basically, they wanted everything to be somewhat similar. For whatever it’s worth, I don’t think you would say that about millennials and even Gen Z. One thing that has struck me a lot about talking to friends of mine who are our age and younger who are interested in wine is that they always want to be trying something new: new varieties, new producers, new places, etc. Natural wine is a part of that, for sure. But it even goes outside of natural wine in this regard, and I think that that is challenging on one hand. It’s challenging for an industry. Even though there are some obviously extremely large wine companies, wine also has a lot of small- and medium-sized producers that are not all going to be on the same page and that are going to be doing different kinds of things and not all of whom are going to be able to necessarily understand their target audience super well. Especially if, as you said, Adam, they’ve got people in charge who are of an older generation. I’ll give a very quick anecdote because it was just funny to me. Literally earlier today, I got one of many PR pitches in an email, from a wine company in Napa that’s got a new label that they’re partnering with some well-known winemaking consultant. All of the wines are named after this famous consultant’s favorite classic rock songs. I was sitting there reading this and I was like, “Holy sh*t, all these songs are 50 years old.” I like classic rock fine, but I’m not going to buy a wine that’s named after a Led Zeppelin song just because it’s named after a Led Zeppelin song. This is obviously a microcosm of a bigger thing, but that same ethos and that same approach has been really done to death. It is an indication that you’re right, Adam. It’s not that our generation wouldn’t spend $50 or $100 on a bottle of wine or more, in many cases. It’s just that the way that that wine has been marketed, it’s like it’s in a different language. It’s not coded for our generation. In many cases, it doesn’t speak to any of the things that we care about. Yes, spirits have been more nimble. But I also think the other piece of this, too — and this is my other thing that comes back to what I was saying at the beginning, which is about some of the specific financial and other challenges for millennials. Getting into wine as a serious consumer involves some amount of collecting full-on, like I’m buying wine forever. I’m buying wine to age for decades. When you don’t own a home, you are renting, you’re moving frequently, as I think our generation does much more so than previous generations. Joanna, when you just moved, packing up a home bar is a lot easier than packing up a wine collection. It’s less fragile, the bottles are half empty, you don’t have to worry about it. Yeah, it’s heavy. And yeah, it’s kind of a pain in the ass. But I really think that is a piece of it, even if people aren’t aware of it at the moment and even if most wine that people drink is bought and consumed that same day. Wine does need, especially high-end wine, a small but meaningful percentage of any generation that wants to invest in it. Not as bullsh*t NFTs and whatever, but as a thing that they want to buy and hold on to and open later for some purpose or occasion. It’s harder to convince millennials that that is a thing that they should do. I don’t know if that’s wrong, but it is a challenge that wine faces that I don’t think spirits or even beer faces.
A: Or they need to adapt, which means looking for an opportunity. Dale and I were talking about this, too. There’s this belief that people don’t want to collect. Look at how many millennials are building bourbon collections. Look at how many millennials are collecting tequilas. You already have a counterpoint to the easy answer that a wine marketer would say of like, “Well, no one’s collecting.” What they’re collecting, Zach, is whiskey. It’s already perfect to drink because it’s been aged for them. So maybe wine needs to start figuring out, “Huh, how do we put out a 10-year-old bottle more often?” Maybe they have to invest in aging it for the consumer, so that the consumer can have those experiences but isn’t worried about holding it for 10 years while moving three times in those 10 years. My life is going to continue to change; I don’t want to keep schlepping this bottle with me. That’s something that Rioja has always done really well for the consumer, which is why it’s one of these steals on the market. A lot of bottles come out with decent age on them when they’re released to the consumer, so they get to already have a cool experience of an older wine. But I think that takes adaptability. The biggest thing I hear is there seems to be less willingness. You were saying this in another way just now: There’s less willingness in the industry to take risks. This is the model, so we don’t want to rock the boat. Well, what happens if we move the money from these places you always spend it? And what happens if we take a different approach and we talk about wine differently or change the labels or whatever. Well, maybe you win and maybe you don’t, but you need to try something. The spirits and beer markets are taking risks all the time. That’s why, I think, they keep winning. If you’re not going to take risks, then there is going to ultimately be a day when you say, “Oh sh*t, we lost.” That shouldn’t have been, because this market is so good. Wine is low-alcohol. It is a more natural product. It is an artisanal product. Right? Beside the big mass producers, which this market doesn’t even really want to drink, you know how it’s made, who made it, where the grapes came from — all these things that millennials and Gen Z really care about. This should be so f*cking easy. But they have to change what they’ve already been doing and come to this generation and talk to them about those things. Then they make design labels that are appealing to them, and not just what they think. Sometimes, I go to the grocery store and I’ll see some of these labels and that came out of a focus group where a bunch of our parents sat around designing what they think we think is cool. I’m just like, “What is this?” Go to a regular wine shop in New York City and look at the natural wine labels and maybe just design one like that. I don’t know what else to say.
J: Yeah. How do you think the dining out and the on-premise restaurant situation has affected this as well?
A: The biggest thing that Dale also said, which I think is true and Zach, I’m curious what you think, is that this is the first time in a long time that you’re handed the drinks list. So now, the millennial has the choice and they see the cocktail next to wines by the glass and the beers, and it’s all on one list. So you’re really fighting now. And the millennial and the Gen Z drink all of them. Well, now what’s the price? What’s the spirit in it? Do I know this? Do I know that? In a lot of these, wine is so unfamiliar. So it’s like, “I know what a Negroni is.” Done. And they’re both $16. The wine-by-the-glass prices, especially in New York, sometimes are either as expensive as the cocktails or they’re more expensive. If you’re doing that, in your head you’re like, “Well why don’t I just get a Negroni?”
Z: The pricing piece maybe has to be something that we save for another conversation, because it’s a big piece of wine’s challenges in on-premise settings, which is just the fact that the pricing has gotten totally out of whack, I think. But you make a really good point about that kind of competition that’s more front and center with all the categories of beverage alcohol on a single list. With a cocktail list, you can look at a list of ingredients, and maybe it’s difficult in some cases to get a sense for what that drink tastes like, if you’re unfamiliar with some of the ingredients, or maybe you don’t really know how they’re going to be combined. The other challenge that is true in wine is, as the wine world has gotten more expansive and you see things from all over the place, sometimes a wine list almost reads like gibberish. And that’s even for me, as someone who is a professional. We did a podcast a while back, Adam, about wine list formatting and the obscurity and the lack of clarity. Whereas in a bar or any restaurant where there’s a bar, presumably at least the person making the drink, i.e., the bartender, knows what was in the drink. There’s always going to be someone at the restaurant who can explain to you what is in the drink, hopefully. If the server can’t do it, then the bartender can. In a lot of restaurants, especially these days where wine-focused service positions have largely been cut back or eliminated, it may be that there’s just not someone who can speak meaningfully to the wine if the person who’s putting together the list isn’t there, doesn’t work nights, doesn’t work the floor. And that is a challenge for wine. That is a thing that goes beyond its other challenges. It’s just the inherent complexity of wine. The fact that, as you said, there are all these different places making wine, all these different varieties, all these different producers. And no one person, even the master sommelier, can keep them all straight — let alone the average consumer. So sometimes, there is a moment where the wine list is too complicated. I don’t want to deal with that, so I’ll just have a cocktail or three cocktails. The wine industry has to figure out how to solve this to some extent. But on the other hand, there’s also the element that a lot of what is being put forth for people to consume is not super compelling to the people who would be buying it. And that’s a bigger problem. If you’re not making interesting wine that has selling points to it, then I’m not surprised you’re not selling it. That’s the state of play. Like you, Adam, I came to my love of beverage largely through wine. I love it and will always love it. But wine should not be granted a seat at the big kids table just by fiat. It has to continue to earn its place there. It has to continue to be producing product and marketing it in ways that are relevant to the people who will buy it. If it doesn’t do that, then its market share will continue to diminish and deserves to.
J: Do we feel that there’s a sense of urgency or panic in wine producers or wine companies after this report?
A: You would hope so, but I don’t know. I think there is now, and you’re starting to hear it. When I was speaking with Dale, he was saying he’s hearing from people that are panicking. They’re like, “Oh, crap, how did we mess this up?” Or, “What do we do to fix it?” There’s a plan for a “Got Milk?” campaign.
J: The slogan; we need the slogan.
A: They’re thinking about that now out of California. But there’s a lot of easy wins here if the wine industry would continue to pay attention. One of the ones is, yes, people’s habits have changed. Josh and I have now done multiple presentations at Wine 2 Wine Italy, Vinexpo, and to certain companies, where we’ve shown data that continues to prove that in the fall and through the holidays, one of the highest categories of wine that we see interest from among the millennial population is rosé. Just make more rosé, then, and have it on hand all year long. Stop telling millennials how they should drink wine and let them drink it how they want to drink it. That is, I think, one of the biggest problems with the wine industry. It’s like, “No, no, no. You have to drink it the way it’s supposed to be consumed.” Wine, to millennials, is just another alcoholic beverage. So let millennials drink it while watching the Seahawks play.
J: There’s less ceremony to it now.
A: Let them drink it how they want. If they want to drink rosé all year, don’t tell them it is a summer beverage. Again, beer and spirits have really let their consumers adapt the product, and then they followed them. Oh, cool. Like they’ve done this, now we’re going to, then we’re going to create it as well. And I think wine has not. With wine, there’s so much tradition, and with tradition comes baggage. The even larger elephant in the room that we keep talking about but I’m not seeing anyone do anything about is that wine does a terrible job marketing to Black and Brown people. Terrible, and they keep saying they’re going to do better and I don’t see it. Where are those campaigns? Where’s the support? We were at the Wine & Culture Fest in Atlanta that Tahiirah Habibi puts on, and every big company should have been there sponsoring. And there wasn’t one. I know her well; she’s a friend. I know she reached out to a lot of them. So where is that? There’s a lot of this talk. There were a lot of very important influential people at that festival. And there’s a lot of festivals like that; there’s a lot of organizations like that. Wine companies can’t support all of them, but that’s another huge market that is millennial that you also haven’t been marketing to. It’s just business. We’ve always said that spirits and beer have done a better job of that — especially certain beers to certain communities and certain spirits to certain communities, they just have. This is totally fixable. This is not doom and gloom. Change the strategy, meet these drinkers where they are, let them drink the way they want to drink, and talk to everybody. Or continue to slip.
J: This was an interesting chat.
A: It was, yeah. If you listen to the pod and have strong opinions on this, please hit us up at [email protected]. We’d love to know what you think about this take and what you see. What is wine doing right, or what could wine be doing right in order to right this ship? Joanna and Zach, I’ll talk to you Friday. We’re going to bring in Jake Cornell and talk about his new podcast with VinePair, “Going Out With Jake Cornell.”
J: Talk to you then.
Z: Sounds great.
Thanks so much for listening to the “VinePair Podcast.” If you love this show as much as we love making it, please leave us a rating or review on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or wherever it is you get your podcasts. It really helps everyone else discover the show.
Now for the credits. VinePair is produced and recorded in New York City and Seattle, Washington, by myself and Zach Geballe, who does all the editing and loves to get the credit. Also, I would love to give a special shout-out to my VinePair co-founder, Josh Malin, for helping make all of this possible, and also to Keith Beavers, VinePair’s tastings director, who is additionally a producer on the show. I also want to, of course, thank every other member of the VinePair team, who are instrumental in all of the ideas that go into making the show every week. Thanks so much for listening, and we’ll see you again.
Ed. note: This episode has been edited for length and clarity.