Friday, September 21, 2007

Who Buys & Drinks More Wine, Men or Women?

So, who is the bigger wino, men or women?

Which gender buys more wine? Which gender drinks more wine? Is the answer the same to both questions?

A recent report by Press-Enterprise addresses these questions as well as discussing some current marketing efforts based on the answers. The article cites the findings of the Wine Market Council. The Wine Market Council is a non-profit association of growers, wine producers, importers, wholesalers, and other affiliated businesses and organizations. Their mission is to establish the widespread acceptance of wine and to encourage the responsible enjoyment of wine.

The Wine Market Council found that women purchase and drink 60% of the wine in the U.S. Obviously this is a very important statistic for wine retailers. And it is interesting in its own right as well. From my own experiences at wine tastings and wine stores, I definitely see more women than men. In my own wine event group, there are about 75% women.

Why is this the case? What attracts more women to wine than men? Is wine not manly enough? Or is it something that may be changing now, that more and more men are getting into wine?

It would be interesting to see the type of wines that women are buying. Is it mainly white wines? Do men buy & drink more red wines than women?

The Press-Enterprise article also mentions the efforts of a couple wineries to create specific wines targeting women. Is that even necessary? Do women need wine that has been feminicized? I don't think so.

Among wine bloggers, it seems that there are more men than women. Yet if more women are buying and drinking wine, then why aren't there more female bloggers?

I have lots of questions in this area and few answers. But I think the questions deserve more study and contemplation. Maybe my readers can add their own comments and speculation to these questions.


MonkuWino said...

I'm curious about a couple of things. How do the statistics compare regarding what the average bottle price is per men versus women? And I wonder if there is anything that shows the distribution of purchase points between the two sexes. That is, what percentage buys from wine shops, online, grocery stores, etc. It would be interesting to know which wine segments appealed to which sexes.

Anonymous said...

Point of observation: men are competitive and obsessive.

Who buys most of the EXPENSIVE wine?
Who buys most of the RED wine?
Who buys most of the CHALLENING wine?

Sure, lots of women buy..."wine," (and "Pizza Wine" and Bartles & James), but who is out there buying high end? Is Robert Parker a man or a woman?

So, a second question (or, if you are a vendor, a PRIMARY question) might be: which group SPENDS more on wine?

Would you rather sell 2 bottles of Harbor Mist or 1 bottle of Victor Hugo's Opulence? Or, more pointedly, based on demographics and spending patterns--and if they must choose a focus--should they focus their educational and production efforts on men or women?

Anonymous said...

As a follow-up, let us examine some key phrases from the cited article:

"[Women are] the ones out in wineries and grocery stores and drugstores selecting wine."


Ruby Cuvee, designed to capture an aunt's personality, because "[s]he is delicate; she is effervescent; she is light and fruity," Magon said of the wine.

Light, fruity, and effervescent?!

And then there is "Girlfriends wine, which is a blend of whites."

So, is this, uh, "serious" wine?

MonkuWino said...

In reply to Anonymous, true, I think men purchase the more expensive bottles but I think many wineries would be more interested in total revenues and profits, not revenues and profits per bottle. Men probably buy the most expensive cars, too, but that is not what drives most auto manufacturers (no pun intended). There will always be a niche market for the rare or prestige wines but for the larger wineries, the finding that women do the majority of purchasing has important marketing implications that they need to consider.

Richard A. said...

Unfortunately, the full report by the Wine Market Council is not available online unless you are a member. Thus, there are plenty of unanswered questions concerning the stats on wine buying and consumption.

Thanks to both of you for your input.

farley said...

I would like to respond, as a woman, wine drinker, and blogger.

Does it really matter, in the bigger scheme of things, who buys more and who buys more expensive wine? Because isn't wine really about the drinking? The buying is just the step to get there.

Also, don't dismiss drugstores. I used to frequent one where I bought Franciscan Magnificat and coveted bottles of Joseph Phelps Insignia and various others.