Wine drinking in America today

What beverage has seen a steady increase in popularity over the last twenty years across America? Wine.

Based on the Wine Institute, in 1993, Americans were drinking just 1.74 grams of wine per head. The number in 2013 was 2.82 gallons. It means that the US is the most wine-consuming country in the world, with more than 329 million cases of wine consumed in 2013, According to the Impact Databank.

The wine industry is becoming part of America’s tradition, with more than 7700 wineries throughout the country across all fifty states. The growth in popularity can be due to a variety of factors, among them being aware that Americans go out to eat more often and are more inclined to pair wine with the food. It is also because the Millennial populace is taking to wine in record numbers. Films and television often feature wine and drinking. Please think of the characters in The Good Wife’s Olivia Pope and Alicia Florrick from The Scandal’s Olivia Pope and their oversized glasses of red wine.

What kind of wine do Americans drink? Where can they purchase these wines?

According to 2014 Nielsen scan data (as mentioned by, Americans love red wine, which accounts for 51 percent of the volume of sales, followed by white wine at 46%, while rose is at 6 percent. The five most sought-after varietals are ranked in order in order: 1)) Chardonnay, 2) Cabernet Sauvignon, 3) Pinot Grigio, 4) Merlot, and 5) Pinot Noir.

Varietals. Author supplied

The latest study from Sonoma State University shows that Americans purchase wine the most often in liquor stores and wine shops and then at grocery stores like Safeway, followed by warehouse stores or discount stores like Costco, Target, or Walmart. The most commonly used price is between $10-$15 per bottle for drinks at home and 20 – 30 for bottles for eating out. But when dining out, 21% of respondents stated that they prefer buying wines by the glass for $5 to $10 per glass. Only 16% of respondents reported purchasing organic wines.

When you visit a store to buy a bottle of wine, our research revealed that the majority of Americans look first at the type of wine, followed by the cost, and then only the label. The majority of consumers decide by looking at how appealing the title seems – not that surprising, given there are more than 60,000 labels to choose from. A lot of people rely on the recommendations of family members or store employees in decisions. Social media is also helpful in making choices, with 76 percent of American wine drinkers having phones with GPS and 24% of them currently using wine apps, such as Hello Vino and Delectable.

A brief history of wine in America

When Spanish explorationist Ponce de Leon arrived in Florida in 1513, he was accompanied by Spanish and French Huguenot colonists who started making wine from the native American fruit, Muscadine, as early as.

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The state of New Mexico, however, is credited with establishing the first vineyards with vitus vinifera (classic wine grapes originating from Europe) beginning in the year 1629. Spanish missionaries planted cuttings from the ” Mission grape.” The wine was introduced from Europe to California in 1769 when the Spanish constructed their San Diego mission. Afterward, they continued to move north through the establishment of 20 other tasks before concluding by establishing the Sonoma mission in 1823. In the present, thanks to its sunny and dry conditions, California produces more than 90 percent of US wine.

It should not be overlooked that Thomas Jefferson attempted to establish an establishment for wineries and to plant vitus vinifera vines in Virginia during the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. However, he was unsuccessful due to the attacks of black rot and the disease of phylloxera. Due to this, many East Coast and Midwest American wineries continue to use indigenous American and hybrid varieties of grapes like those of Concord, Niagara, Norton, and Catawba, as they are more adaptable to these climates. Brotherhood Winery in New York was founded in 1839; the first continuously operating winery in America is still using several indigenous American grapes, as well as the vitus vinifera classic, particularly Riesling.

The geographic range of these early American wineries was vast. For instance, the Wollersheim Winery in Wisconsin was first founded in 1842 by Count Harazathy from Hungary prior to his move west to create California’s oldest premier winery, Buena Vista, in 1857. Stone Hill Winery in Missouri was established in 1847. Meiers Winery in Ohio from 1856, as well as that of the Renault Winery of New Jersey 1864. Further to the south, Wiederkehr Wine Cellars and Post Family Vineyards of Arkansas began in 1880, as did The Val Verde Winery of Texas, which started in 1883. The oldest operating continuously operating sparkling winery located in California can be found at Korbel Champagne Cellars, founded in 1882.

Wine Tourism Growing Across the US

The popularity of wine is increasing across America. The most popular winery in the country is Biltmore Estate, located in North Carolina, boasting over 1 million tourists every year. Both Napa Valley and Sonoma County depend on wine tourism as one of their main economic driving factors. In 2012, both counties made more than $1.4 billion in tourist revenue, which attracted over 7 million visitors.

The trend for the consumption of wine in America is positive, and it is predicted to grow at a steady but modest pace of 2 to 3 percent annually. The main obstacle to this is changes to regulations, negative attitudes regarding alcohol consumption, and competition from other drinks like craft beers.


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