In recent years there has been something of a shift in terms of what young people prefer to consume when they decide to enjoy an alcoholic beverage. While wine has always been popular amongst younger consumers, particularly in countries like Italy and France, people in the UK and USA have always had a preference for beers and lagers, at least during the 1990s and into the early 2000s.
However, that is all changing according to a number of recent reports. In fact, some surveys have shown that Italian wine in particular is beginning to eclipse beer as the drink of choice for many young consumers. There are a number of reasons that this might be the case, some of which we will look at below.
It is widely accepted that wine is better for the body that beer. Not only does it contain far fewer calories, which means it is preferred by people who are looking to better manage their weight, but red wine in particular has been shown to have a number of positive effects when it comes to reducing the risk of heart disease, cancer and strokes.
In an increasingly health conscious society, this is something that is obviously becoming extremely invaluable to younger drinkers. As people come to understand more about the things that they put into their bodies and the effects that these items can have on their overall health, they are increasingly starting to lean towards drinking wine over beer simply because it is the healthier option in the long term.
Couple that with the fact that many wine producers are now actively catering to the organic market, which again places a focus on health and natural products over getting as much supply out as possible, and you have a perfect situation for Italian winemakers simply because markets that were previously more receptive to beers and lagers are now not only seeing wine as a viable alternative, but are actually preferring it to the drinks that were more popular with their parents.
Availability and Variety
While it would be false to claim that Italian wine was not fairly available to previous generations outside of Italy, they were often limited to the vintages that their local shops would stock. If they didn’t have a wine that the consumer enjoyed, or if the price tag was so high that they simply could not afford the drink in the first place, it is only natural that they would decide to go for the cheaper option and enjoy a beer or two instead.
However, with the advent of the internet, consumers now have more options than ever before when it comes to wine. Instead of being limited to what local retailers choose to stock, consumers can now browse a wealth of websites from around the world in an effort to find wines at an affordable price that may offer them something different to what it available on the local level.
Furthermore, these websites offer unparalleled access to wines that would never normally be available in countries like the USA or UK. Local producers can now sell their products to these sites, who have the tools required to make them available to a wider audience than ever before. This means that those who are interested in exploring Italian wines are now able to find vintages from producers that haven’t necessarily built a reputation for themselves. There is a lot to be said for having a wide variety of choices made available to you, and this is exactly what the advent of the internet has offered to consumers who were previously limited in what they could purchase when it came to wine.
While there are many great stories surrounding the production and history of certain beers and lagers, there is simply no alcoholic beverage in the world that can compete with the vast depths of history that the Italian wine industry has at its disposal. Practically any wine that you will ever consume has an interesting story behind it, with wine tourism becoming increasingly popular in recent years amongst people who want to find out even more.
With an increasingly educated younger population, it is only natural that alcoholic beverages that have a good story behind them are going to become more interesting. There is a lot to be said for the simple pleasures of enjoying a beer, but wine offers the consumer the opportunity to learn about a history or culture that they were previously unaware of.
Everything about wine, from the way that it is made through to the correct methods of drinking it and combining it with the right foods, is an educational experience that many younger people are more than willing to enjoy. Couple that with the fact that there are now so many different avenues that younger consumers can use to discover wine and it is clear that the stories behind these great drinks are playing a fairly influential part in the wine industries continued increase in popularity.
As strange as it may seem, there is also a school of thought that claims that younger consumers are drinking wine simply because it is counter to the drinks that their parents enjoyed. Many even point out that wines and spirits were the preferred drinks of the generation previous to the one that enjoyed beer in such record numbers.
This suggests that the increasing popularity of wine amongst younger consumers may be a cyclical phenomenon that could be reversed when the next generation of consumers comes along and decides that they would rather drink beer as opposed to the wines that their parents loved.
However, this seems to be something of a broad generalisation and doesn’t give enough credit to the other factors that have been mentioned previously. In truth, it does seem like younger consumers are looking for something a little different to their parents, but this may simply be because of evolving tastes. After all, craft beers have also increased in popularity while traditional beers have dropped. It is no coincidence that they offer many of the same advantages as wine, so it will be interesting to see if the industry continues in this direction over the long term.