The US consumed a record 300m cases of wine in 2006, according to latest government statistics – almost enough for the US to drink its way out of a six-year wine glut, say some reports.
The figure supports the belief that wine is a rapidly growing trend in the country.
‘Wine is finally entering the mainstream of American life,’ wine industry consultant Jon Fredrikson of California-based Gomberg, Fredrikson & Associates told decanter.com.
In 2005 a Gallup poll saw wine edge ahead of beer as the favourite tipple of US consumers.
Fredrikson said more wines were being made to appeal to the mainstream American palate saying ‘fruit-forward, round, flavourful products that taste good to the average adult.’
He added that ‘inviting packaging’ and non-traditional names, which ‘break down intimidating barriers,’ helped to increase sales.
Screwcaps have also played a major role with screwcapped wine sales increasing nearly 25% in 2006, according to research by market analysts ACNieslen.
The consumption increase applies to a wide range of wines, from the $5 to 10 per bottle variety to higher quality wines above $10, which also grew rapidly by over 10% in volume on 2005.
‘There is still a way to go, in that consumption is very low compared to other countries,’ said Frederickson.
Statistics show that only 1 in 3 adults drink wine in the US, and that per capita consumption is just 2.4 gallons – well below that of the UK, Australia or New Zealand.
The news was released at the Unified Wine and Grape Symposium in Sacramento.
‘The waning glut should mean some reprieve from years of low prices and slim profit margins,’ said local newspaper the Sacramento Bee.
Written by Panos Kakaviatos