Wine in the US, a sign of social standing
In the United States, the affluent class drink wine as an aperitif or socially, primarily in bars, be they in New York, Miami, Chicago or San Francisco. Wines by the glass are often sold at elevated prices that can range from anywhere between 12 and 25 US dollars and are mostly imported from Europe or Chile.
Wine has become a go-to drink for many. People drink wine because of its social connotations: it has a positive and sophisticated image, it’s good for your health, and it’s a beverage that was made for sharing,” explains Anthony Taylor, Brand Ambassador for Gabriel Meffre.
The American middle class, a different attitude
Those with tighter budgets and who consume on a more regular basis buy their wines at the supermarket or from off licences. These wines tend to be American produced and more suited to the general population’s palate, steeped in the fizzy drinks culture. The uninitiated population appreciates sweet red and rosé wines, which are exploding on the American market.
The concept of pairing food and wine is rarely practised in the States because wine is mostly consumed away from the table.
One of the most successful recent trends is the wine spritzer, a cocktail served in bars and cafés. “It’s a blend of white wine, soda and ice, very popular with women, because it contains fewer calories and less alcohol,” says Anthony.
Gabriel Meffre wines in the United States
Our wines are adapted to the American market thanks mainly to the notoriety of the regions of provenance: the south of France, the Rhône Valley and the like, popular and aspirational wine destinations among the American public. The Grenache grape also plays a part owing to its particularly round tannins. This variety produces flavoursome and smooth wines, especially suited to American tastes.
China, keen and appreciative!
China’s capacity for cultural adaptation is extremely fast according to Anthony Taylor. The brand ambassador has been making recent trips to the country since 2001 and his fascination for the speed at which the Chinese market is growing is impossible to hide.
Before there was only fine Bordeaux. Today the market has matured and the Chinese are more curious than ever. “They are becoming increasingly interested in wines from the Rhône Valley they’re starting to buy them to drink at home and not just to offer as gifts as has typically been the custom.”
Wine has been given an important boost following a public health initiative launched by President Xi Jinping. Baijiu – a very popular and much consumed liquor in China – has devastated the population in recent years. The Chinese government therefore took steps to recommend the consumption of wine, which is healthier and lower in alcohol. Following the positive communication campaign, wine has started to find a place in the consumption choices of the Chinese.
Where women buy wine
During his travels, Anthony got to notice that there are fewer differences between men and women as in Europe in the affluent and middle classes. “Women have important roles in industry and in the workplace, their place is balanced in society.”
Wine is the physical embodiment of this: most people buying wine in stores are women. They select the bottles for the home and enjoy them just as men do. “There’s also great potential to exploit in terms of marketing wine because women are the priority target group!”