According to statistics, it is believed that 1-in-3 Americans (77 million) drink wine regularly every month. However, this figure has decreased over the years, with fewer people drinking wine regularly than other alcoholic beverages. 

Despite decreased wine drinking, it’s still an essential part of the American holiday season, with many buying wine for personal consumption or to gift it. After all, there’s a wine choice that pairs well with everything you could eat during this time of year. 

Here’s what recent CivicScience data show surrounding wine buying trends this holiday season, revealing some interesting findings and changes between 2022 and 2023:

Intended holiday wine spending is down across the board. Although the majority of individuals (63%) plan to spend the same amount that they usually would on wine this holiday season, only 10% of people plan to spend more while 27% intend to spend less. This could be related to overall decreased holiday spending, marketing, and also changing interest and generational divides regarding wine popularity.

Looking at price-point, CivicScience data also show that fewer people will spend more than $150 on wine for entertaining this year – 22% planned to spend more than $150 in 2022, but only 20% plan to do the same in 2023, echoing 2020 numbers. Most respondents plan to spend less than $150 on wine for the holidays.

Join the Conversation: What do you think is the appropriate amount of money to spend on a nice bottle of wine for a nice occasion?

Red, White, or Bubbly – What Are the Preferred Wines in 2023?

Some wines are far more popular than others. For example, in 2022, the crowd favorite during the holidays was the 2019 Ketcham Estate Allie’s Reserve Pinot Noir. In contrast, in 2023, you’re more likely to be sipping on a 2021 Archery Summit Winery Pinot Noir with friends and family. 

Both of these wines are classified as ‘red,’ and unsurprisingly, CivicScience unearthed that red wines are the most popular, with 44% of wine-drinking U.S. adults (21+) preferring them to others. A close second was white wine, with 28%, while rosé and sparkling wine tied for third place, each with 14% of survey respondents preferring these over other types. 

What’s even more interesting is that 37% of those who prefer sparkling wine over other types are more likely to spend less on wine this year for the holidays. Additionally, survey respondents who prefer white and red wine are the most likely to spend about the same amount, while rosé drinkers are the most likely to spend more.

What Age Group Is Spending More On Wines This Holiday Season?

Adults under 35 are the most likely to say they rarely or never drink wine. However, 20% of those between the ages of 21 and 34 plan to spend more on wine this holiday season than other age groups. This is opposed to 8% of 35- to 54-year-olds and 5% of those 55 and older who plan to spend more on wine during the holidays. 

These findings are surprising, considering it’s reported that the American wine industry still predominantly targets older consumers, as advertisers heavily lean toward marketing to older crowds. In fact, according to a 2023 wine industry report, the only area of U.S. growth was among consumers over 60. Even so, CivicScience data indicate that younger adults (under 35) are significantly more likely than older adults to say they will ‘spend more’ on the holidays overall this year – and that includes wine.

Gifting Wine Holds Steady, Online Buying Is Up

Of course gift-giving accounts for a portion of overall wine spending, and Americans are just as likely to give wine to friends, family, and coworkers this year as last year. Forty percent are likely to gift wine (while 60% are unlikely).

And while most survey respondents aren’t interested in purchasing wine online, online purchasers continue to grow year over year. Data show 33% have bought wine online or plan to, up four percentage points from this time last year and up 14 percentage points from Q4-2020. This also coincides with an increasing number of Americans planning to purchase holiday gifts online this year.

Cast Your Vote: In your opinion, is champagne / sparkling wine the most essential winter holiday alcohol?

The data suggest that the wine industry could take a hit this year, as more people plan to spend less or about the same as they usually do this holiday season. However, wine remains a popular gift item.

With the market continuously shifting, will wine will see a resurgence in interest and value? To learn how the CivicScience InsightStore can help your brand stay ahead of consumer trends in this industry, get in touch.