In January we shared our 2015 End of Year Report which detailed many of the facts and stats that Bottle Shop Concepts accumulated throughout our 16 events last year.
We did so in the spirit of openness and collaboration to hopefully highlight just how interested people are about what they imbibe; especially wine. One of more fascinating parts of the report, as far as I was concerned, related to the demographic data of the people who engage with our events.
60% of our attendees were women and 55% were under the age of 35 – and in fact the percentage of women under 35 increases from event to event, peaking in Brisbane at 75% for Game of Rhones.
I highlight these statistics especially as they offer some pertinent insights. Plus, it reminded me of a twitter discussion I attempted to enter late last year about how young people, apparently, are disinterested in wine.
The discussion participants, of which I observed were of an older male demographic, were stating that young people aren’t interested in wine by quoting some stats and graphs.
I offered a contrary opinion and shared some of the data from our events hoping to positively contribute.
And their response?
For me, it was this that highlighted the exact issue they were attempting to comprehend.
They failed to engage or acknowledge someone of contrary opinion and not of their wine critical world.
How can you complain about young people are not engaging with you if you ignore them or, at worst, berate them for their drinking choices?
Why are you not surprised if their attention is elsewhere?
I would argue that young people ARE interested in wine.
They’re just not interested in reading/hearing about it the same old way in which wine has been communicated, by the same people, nor sit in a class room to learn about it.
From where we sit, people want to learn about wine the same way in which they consume it; socially. And then share their experience.
Said people also complained about the shrinking of column inches in newspapers dedicated to wine.
Again, why are you surprised if you’ve been saying the same thing over and over again for 20 years?
I’m reminded of this today as yet another article questioning a certain wine style, and the sommeliers who pour it, is doing the internal wine rounds. I stress ‘internal’ as I very much doubt it will have any reach outside of the top 5% of wine drinkers.
The cold hard reality is that if people aren’t reading or listening to you, what you are saying is not relevant to them and this is obviously why column inches are shrinking.
Their attention is elsewhere and has been for years.
Stomping your foot at your next wine junket or free lunch will still not change the fact the market for wine commentary consumption, and influence, has shifted significantly.
It did years ago.
I don’t think for a moment the demographic data we’ve compiled is the be all and end all.
But what I do believe is we are seeing the ‘new’ wine drinker fill the gap between the top 5% and the lower, ‘high volume’ end the market.
What the data does show is not only increased interest and engagement, but perhaps more importantly, how people want to engage with wine brands and learn about wine. Again, socially.
This new middle wine ground is where the attention and excitement is and, sadly, many commentators (and wine producers for that matter) are missing it or, at worst, failing to acknowledge it.
In the words of Gary Vaynerchuk. Market in the year that we actually live in.