Not Your Father’s American Wine

Since 2011, America has become the dominating force in the world wine market. That was the year Americans finally surpassed the Italians and French in total wine consumption. With so many wine drinkers packing her shores, the U.S. has become the national barometer for market trends and predictions. So far, a preference for imported wine has benefited international markets, especially those in Italy, but the younger generation is showing an ever-increasing interest in American wines, though not the usual suspects.

Of the almost 7,500 U.S. wineries, over 3,500 of those are located in California. However, the wine-soaked regions of Napa Valley and Sonoma are quickly falling out of favor the new Millennial wine drinkers. An article in Wine Spectator indicates Millennials have much less of an interest in California wines than the Baby Boomers, and are therefore much more inclined to try out wines from emerging U.S. regions in states like Virginia, Texas, Michigan and Missouri.

But is this preference enough to sustain a change in market practices? The number of restaurants coming out with all-American wine lists may be a sign of the times. The success of restaurants with American-only wine selections, such as Buttermilk Channel in NYC and Beatrix in Chicago, may signal a change in the wind for the future of wine production and consumption in the U.S.

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