The Grapevine

Wine Industry News – 4/4/16

April 4th, 2016

An “oops” from the Wine Market Council on Millennials, a “well, maybe not” on wine’s purported health benefits, and an “uh, no” on the arsenic court case.


Arsenic Wine Case Dismissed
The class-action suit brought against California wine makers for selling wines with arsenic levels higher than allowed by state laws was thrown out by the presiding judge. Nearly all of the largest wine producers in the state were named in the suit, so the potential business impact was huge. Certainly they’re all quite happy that their characterization of the suit as “meritless” was vindicated. You can read more about the decision  here.

Wine May Not Be All That When it Comes to Health Benefits
Apparently there’s a “gaping hole” in the science supporting wine’s healthful benefits. It seems that many of the studies supporting wine’s health benefits weren’t as rigorous in their controls as they should have been. As in, the non-drinking group may have been former imbibers who stopped drinking for health reasons. That would make them less healthy as a group and would, of course, skew the results. In other words, they weren’t healthier because they drank more wine. They drank more wine because they were healthier. You can read the Bloomberg News coverage here.

Millennials vs. Boomers: Who Really Downs More Wine?
Oops. It seems that’s what the Wine Market Council should be saying. Their claims that Millennials are out-consuming Boomers seem to have ben based on an error in their calculations and presentation. The gap between the two groups does seem to be narrowing, but Boomers are still top dog in terms of consumption. As of January 1st, 2016, when all Millennials became of legal drinking age, the Millennials became the larger group by sheer numbers. And since a larger percentage of Millennials drink there are more Millennial imbibers than Boomers. But the Boomers still consume more.

Really sounds like a petty squabble to us. Sure, it’s good to get the numbers right – and certainly bad to make business decisions based on faulty data as some in the industry no doubt did. But the underlying trends are still accurate. Millennials are quickly becoming the central demographic for the wine biz. You can read more here. [/level-members]