Do you think of wine collecting as the pastime of the uber-rich? When you hear the words ‘wine collector’ perhaps the image of a stern patriarch wearing a tweed jacket with elbow patches, smoking a pipe in a dark wood-paneled wine cellar surrounded by thousands of bottles, comes to mind? That’s so last century. For better or worse, wine collecting isn’t what it used to be – and if North America’s 75 million-strong Millennial cohort has already changed the world of wine collecting forever, imagine what the world of wine will look like to subsequent generations!
Today’s wine collectors are a different breed
While the art of wine collecting has existed since man first crushed grapes, old stereotypes about wine collecting are being smashed as we move into a new era. Whether for available disposable income, higher confidence levels, or other reasons, wine collecting still remains mostly a man’s game; other than that, it’s a different hobby than it used to be. Here are some of the ways in which today’s new wine collectors have changed the game:
- Fascination with backstory. Who says young people have short attention spans? More than their predecessors, young people are interested in the narrative of wines, even to the point of popularizing wines that probably don’t deserve it just because they’re rustic, hip or the next cool thing.
- Technological savvy. Rather than a just few people obsessively collecting and possessively guarding arcane knowledge about wines, all of today’s young collectors can find out the most obscure details about the most obscure vintages on earth, in seconds, with a few swipes. They also love sharing that information with others as opposed to jealously hoarding it. Rather than getting their information about wine in print, this generation is solidly digital and more likely to turn to the web for answers and wine advice.
- Experiential bent. Millennials aren’t apt to blindly follow the 100-point scale and base their purchases on it; their buying habits are swayed by word of mouth and personal experience rather than the points awarded to a particular wine by a distant critic or wine columnist.
- Smaller scale. Millennials are fine with a smaller collection as long as it has a personal wow factor for them.
- Willingness to try new things. The brand loyalty seen in the Boomer generation is much lower among Millennials, who are willing to try just about anything (at least by the glass!).
- Willingness to learn. Wine tastings are increasingly popular among younger wine lovers, as is the idea of seeking out a sommelier’s license ‘just because’ – something you wouldn’t see as much among previous generations of wine collectors, who were more likely to trust the experts than become the experts.
The more things change, the more they stay the same
The one thing Millennials often talk about is wanting to have a personal connection to the wines they consume and collect. That is something any wine lover can relate to. And no matter what their calendar age, wine collectors universally want their wines to be protected and beautifully displayed. Enter Cable Wine Systems, maker of one of the finest quality metal wine racking systems on the market today. Our sleek, elegant, flexible wine racking systems accommodate the widest variety of bottle shapes and sizes and can also be assembled to meet your preferences with regards to bottle spacing and/or positioning. Now you can love your wine and admire it the way you want…at any age!