Given the immediate association that “gateway wines” has with “gateway drugs,” maybe it’s a good thing they’re losing ground … (Though not if you’re a wine producer or retailer.) [level-members]
In this case, the gateway is the lower priced wines that tend to attract those just beginning to explore wine. And what they’re losing ground to is spirits and craft beers.
You can read the rest in this article from the North Bay Business Journal. The take-away is that wine has lost some of its momentum as craft beers continue their growth and the relatively new craze for cocktails has revived many spirits.
While those drinking in bars and restaurants may not notice a big gap in what an evening’s liquid refreshment costs, those drinking at home most certainly will. A bottle of wine, even at a third the price, does not go nearly as far as a bottle of bourbon. The difference is less pronounced for craft beers, particularly for lower-end wines.