It’s a formula that hasn’t quite been cracked by the wine industry. How do you put your wine brand in front of Millennials – the largest potential wine consuming generation to date?


This year’s BRIT Awards in the UK comes at a time when the wine industry is grappling with the idea of how to attract the so-called millennial generation.

Chilean powerhouse Concha y Toro UK has announced a partnership between its Frontera brand and music body the BPI, home to the BRITs music awards show, in the latest attempt to ‘attract the younger adult market into the wine category’.

BRIT Awards, wine and the ‘millennial conundrum’

It’s a conundrum that affects all of the wine industry, from the branded wines of Chile and California to the fine wine of Bordeaux. How do you reach young adults and turn them into wine lovers? The answer will shape the wine industry for the next thirty years as this generation matures into the wine market of tomorrow.

Today’s wine drinkers, we’ll call them Adventurous Connoisseurs to borrow a phrase from Wine Intelligence, were brought up on the classics; Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne and Chianti in a flask.

These wonderful, classic wines were in the market when our Adventurous Connoisseurs were young adults. Their seniors, whether it was parents or bosses, favoured the classic wine regions and aspired to drink them. Now, those wines dominate in the fine wine market and are on the top restaurant wine lists – Chianti, for example, has done a great job of reinventing itself.

Millennials and wine: Skipping between styles

But what of Millennials? Lettie Teague in the Wall Street Journal penned an excellent piece on the US wine market late last year – and many of these observations are true in the UK.

In summary, the next generation are eager to try new things leading the way on fads like the orange wine craze. They are hard to pin down, skipping between wine styles. They get their information online and through events. They have an enormous amount of choice – and they ignore their seniors.

Slovenian Chardonnay over white Burgundy?

What does that mean for the fine wine market and top restaurants in future years? Slovenian Chardonnay may replace white Burgundy’s spot, Spanish Garnacha might topple Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Californian Sangiovese will de-flask Chianti and if Concha y Toro get it right at the Brit Awards, Don Melchor will replace the 1855 hold on restaurant wine lists.

So when you, or your children, settle down on Wednesday 24 February to see who will be added to the BRITs hall of fame – whether it be emulating Jarvis Cocker’s protest against Michael Jackson, Madonna being dragged unceremoniously off the stage or the making of a new superstar such as Jack Garratt – check to see what’s in your glass of wine. And ponder whether Frontera is reaching the wine lover of tomorrow, because it will affect us all.


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  • It’s good that there’s more variety in the wine world these days and it’s good that there are new people prepared to enjoy it. Against this backdrop I think that creating brand loyalty will be tough. I rarely buy the same wine twice, there’s just too much to try and new producers popping up all the time. So I suppose that a giant like Concha y Toro, that needs to move volume, should (a) focus on people who like wine but aren’t wine lovers and so may stick to brands as they do their weekly shop, (b) have a diversified brand offering to capture wine-curious people more often and (c) be subtly omnipresent on social media – as this seems to be essential for young people.

    As for the fine wine market and top restaurants, I can’t see the demise of the classic regions any time soon, but perhaps a split will occur between the well-off and everyone else. For rich collectors, Bordeaux, Burgundy etc still seem to be king. The prices stay high, the châteaux can afford to take ever greater levels of care and the wines get even better. If you’re nouveau riche it’s also a handy way to buy sophistication. You don’t have to understand the regions, but if it’s European and ideally French, then it must be classy, right? For everyone else, I imagine that the rise of young sommeliers, an increasing move towards fusion cuisine and a price-aware client base that doesn’t give a hoot about the classics will progressively shift the lower tiers of these wines off restaurant lists. A good wine from a cheap region is probably better than the same priced wine from an expensive region and for people that didn’t grow up with a 70s-style wine education, then where’s the problem?