Marketing Languedoc wine to young people – Are Millenials drinking fine wine?

I’m starting to see some of the press coverage of this year’s Ambassador Tour, a classy series of Languedoc wine tastings held in the US each year.  The first article I’ve seen, despite its positive outlook on the tasting and Languedoc’s future, made me pause with a claim that AOC Languedoc is specifically bucking the trend to market toward twenty-somethings.  The article goes on to claim that the classification is favoring 30- to 45-year-olds, “the youngest demographic group of wine drinkers identified for the controlled origin wines”

pull quote languedoc wine ambassador tour

This part leaves me a little perplexed.  I’m glad we’re targeting 30 somethings which is already a young demographic compared to wine consumption statistics from the 90’s.  But why stop there?  And why purposefully spread a message that sort of sounds like “our wine is not really meant for people who are just starting”?

Remember when Jay Z got ridiculously mad that Cristal’s producers didn’t fully embrace the rap community‘s affinity for their Champagne?  Comments to the press were taken a bit out of context, and customers got very upset.  The director of the company that produces Cristal hadn’t said anything explicitly negative, and he still caused a commotion.  I think the above article voices a potentially much more direct and damaging point of view that millenials aren’t worth our time.

So let me take the counterpoint: Millenials are totally worth it.  Their heads generally haven’t been filled with a priori biases.

I regularly meet people my age who want to drink wine that you can’t find at the supermarket.  And I want to insist that any PR folks who read this blog (preaching to the choir?), be careful about spreading this kind of copy.  It sort of sounds like we’re wine snobs who don’t serve young adults until they’ve matured a bit.

And I don’t mean to pick on this article too much.  It’s very nice and I’m glad it puts the new AOC Languedoc initiatives in a positive light!  But I think very young peope who drink wine can sometimes feel intimidated and unwelcomed.  And this sort of business philosophy appearing in trade publications like “The Tasting Panel” can sometimes reinforce these unspoken age norms.

Am I over-reacting?   Am I doing more harm than good by putting this small trade magazine article in the light of day?  Or do you agree with me on some level?  Let me know!  I am very proud to have readers of all ages.  Some too young to drink. Some who don’t let it stop them. ;D  And some who can proudly claim they’ve been drinking since before I was born.  So let me know if you think the wine business is age-ist.  Or if I’m reading a little too much into this stuff.

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