wine glass 2 180x180 - Spend up, knowledge down

Premium spenders on wine, counter to preconceptions, are not the most knowledgeable wine drinkers

When it comes to the wine knowledge levels of premium wine consumers, I’m sure that the majority, if not all of us, would assume that higher spending wine drinkers are more knowledgeable about wine than those who spend at lower price points. After all, premium wine drinkers spend more on wine, so surely, they would know more about wine too?

Our recent Global Trends in Wine 2020 report shows that premium wine drinkers in a range of markets really don’t know more about wine than other, lower spending drinkers. So why is this?

A key driver behind this is that premium wine drinkers are more likely to be younger consumers, typically Millennials, aged 35 and under. We know from these drinkers that their wine buying is less planned in advance and that typically they expect higher priced bottles to be of higher quality. And appearance matters amongst these drinkers. Wine is typically thought of as ‘more special’ and is reserved for more treat worthy occasions. So, based on that, wine needs to look and feel’ good’ i.e. premium to fulfil its role for these younger drinkers. Hence spending more.

However, when we dig further into the reasons as to why wine drinkers who spend at premium price points are not, on average, more wine knowledgeable, the reason becomes clear. Age matters. For example, in the UK, 37% of all premium wine drinkers are aged under 35 which is a significantly higher percentage than the 21% of non-premium wine drinkers of the same age. In Australia and Brazil, the figures are even higher, with 40% and 54% respectively of wine drinkers being aged under 35, compared with 28% and 43% of non-premium wine drinkers.


premium drinkers 1030x728 - Spend up, knowledge down

Source: Global Trends in Wine 2020


Our evidence clearly shows that the longer you’ve been drinking wine, the greater your wine knowledge typically is. Age is correlated to wine knowledge. And this makes sense. If you’ve been drinking wine for 10, 20 or even 30 years, you build up a depth of knowledge because you’ve simply spent more time buying wine on more occasions and had more experience with it. What we also know from more mature, older drinkers is that with experience comes knowledge. And this wine knowledge can help older drinkers to know what they like, and to also feel less compelled to ‘impress with wine’. When talking to drinkers aged 60+, they report that they’ve built up enough experience with wine to know what they really like, enabling them to actually spend less per bottle.

The take-away here for wine producers, distributors and operators is for us to not assume that just because our drinkers are spending up, they have higher wine knowledge and want more detailed and voluminous technical information. Actually, reassurance and looking good can go just as far. Particularly amongst Millennial consumers.

premiumdrinkers2 - Spend up, knowledge down

Source: Global Trends in Wine 2020


Lulie 2 250x300 - Spend up, knowledge downAuthor: Lulie Halstead


0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply