The average price of a bottle of wine sold in the US is between $6 and $7.
California wine that retails for more than $14 accounts for only 11% of California wine sales.
Connoisseurs, the folks drinking the expensive wines, make up 5% of the wine drinkers in the US.
70% to 90% of all wines purchased are drunk within 24 hours of purchase.
Very inexpensive wine drinkers, the 2 Buck Chuck and the jug wine people, outnumber the connoisseurs 3 to 1 and make up about 15% of US wine drinkers.
There you have it, we are a nation of inexpensive wine drinkers and very happily so, 80% of us seldom drink the real cheap stuff or the real expensive wine, but if you read the Wine magazines and the internet or daily newspaper articles, you would think we are all ordering $100 bottles at expensive restaurants or sitting on a terrace overlooking the vineyard sampling wines with the winemaker. The 5% loom large over us regular wine drinkers, the wines we enjoy tend to get labeled as plonk or bulk wine (which the 2 Buck Chucks and jug wines actually are) and the wines we regularly drink rarely are.
Now, I am not complaining that we, the vast majority of the American wine drinkers, are not getting their proper recognition. What I am saying to us, the 80%, is to crouch down real low and be quiet, maybe they won’t notice we are out here. We don’t want to be like the Connoisseur 5%, we don’t want our wine choices ruled by 90+ points given out by this critic or that authority, we don’t want to drink expensive bottles, just so others will see us. We got a good thing going here, there are thousands of wines available to us in our price range and you drink what you like and I drink what I like, everybody’s happy. Each of us has their own version of which wines are the “cool” wines, there is no Wine Authority that sets the rules for the 80%. So drink that $5 Chardonnay, because you really like it and that $10 Pinot Noir that makes you very happy, but makes the wine snobs cringe. Let 95% of everything written about wine act as if we don’t exist, its ok, we don’t need to be told what to drink and how to drink it. We, the 80%, are out of their control. Instead of having folks giving you “that look” because you are enjoying a $12 Zinfandel, that they for some reason don’t approve of, we need to start turning it around. A few, “You paid $65 for that! It does not taste that different from any $10 “fill in the blank” that I ever tasted,” will start shutting them up. We got a bunch of good wines at our disposal and we got the numbers, when it comes to wine in the US, we, the 80%, for better or for worse, rule.