Millenials Love Cheap Wine, And True Love is a Beautiful Thing

As we’ve discussed previously, cheap wine is totally the greatest, you probably can’t even taste the difference, and there’s no shame in drinking it. Apparently, y’all have taken that message to heart because according to experts, millenials now consume 27% of the wine by volume in the United States.

A person pouring liquid out of a box labeled "Cheap wine in a very big fucking box."
Via Night Deposits

Right now, there are an estimated 62 million millenials over the age of 21, and in the next two years another eight million will join the ranks. As 20-somethings storm the market, winemakers have been quick to pay attention – and, increasingly, try to capitalize on it. In an interview with Fox Business, Melissa Saunders, owner of wine importer Communal Brands, explained:

“Historically, wine has been marketed to older generations and came with a huge pretense. But this generation is blowing all of that out of the water. They don’t care about the pretentiousness of a wine, they want something that is authentic and speaks to them. This is a huge marketing opportunity.”

Today, wine sellers are updating their packaging, making sweeter wines to cater to millenial tastes, and marketing them using social media.

Frankly, I’m skeptical about claims that my generation is any less pretentious than older generations (but maybe this is because I live in Brooklyn). My gut feeling is that we’ve just found other things to be pretentious about. Craft beer, for example. Do we really love microbreweries in our heart of hearts? Or are we just hooked on the subversive feeling of seizing a “lowbrow” thing and making it “highbrow,” staking out our generation’s claim? It’s probably a little of both, but I think there’s something to the idea that our enthusiastic adoption of cheap wine is, in part, a rejection of the stuffy, snooty oenophiles of old.

Personally, I’m a big fan of cheap wine. My plans for the weekend involve an all-day cheap wine tour through upstate New York. Three boozy stops, eight tipsy hours; it’s going to be awesome. It’s true that you sometimes strike out on taste when you go for the under $10 bin, but that happens with expensive wine too. Plus, you can try more options, because they’re cheaper! It’s not like most of us are rolling in cash, so this is obviously a major selling point. Perhaps the most important one, aside from this: cheap wine makes us happy.

Happy Friday!

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Laura Mandanas

Laura Mandanas is a Filipina American living in Boston. By day, she works as an industrial engineer. By night, she is beautiful and terrible as the morn, treacherous as the seas, stronger than the foundations of the Earth. All shall love her and despair. Follow her: @LauraMWrites.

Laura has written 210 articles for us.


  1. I live above a walgreens now, so I know all about buying large quantities of cheap wine. I know nothing about being pretentious.

  2. Oh, I distinctly remember being in my final semester of junior year at Target with my best friends one night. We chose cheap bottles of red wine according to how much we liked their label designs. So many terrible, yet wonderful choices were made that night.

  3. In NZ, every sixteen year old brings wine to the house party… when you can get an $8 bottle of Fat Bird (cheap for alcohol in this maddeningly overpriced country) why spend $40 on a 500mL bottle of shitty cheap whisky?

  4. i’m all about that trader joe’s wine life and sometimes i like to think i’m pretty close to becoming the mayor on foursquare. only time will tell i guess.

  5. I love barefoot moscato. Commenters should list their favorite cheap wines so we all know what wines to buy.

  6. When I am cheap-red-wine-drunk I am in love with the World Soul and so-good-at-dancing drunk. Quite a magnificent spiritual-social experience for under ten bucks! Thanks, Trader Joe’s! Sincerely, a truly pretentious Millenial.

  7. May I recommend wine coke, classy drink of cheap French teenagers: 1/2 red wine, 1/2 coke. Caffeinated and a delicious use of a two buck chuck. More tasty than it sounds.

    • yes! calimocho! the chosen beverage of spaniards everywhere! i got all my friends hooked on this – i have never heard a complaint. also, in the summer, you can make the lighter version, called tinto de verano, which is half red wine and half sprite/7up/any other lemony pop. either way, serve over ice.

    • Word to wine and coke. I’m not the biggest fan of red wine so my preferred wine + coke combo is 1/2 white wine (Riesling or Pinot Grigio) and 1/2 coke. Delicious.

  8. I highly recommend a big old box of Big House Red.

    Bonus moment of joy happens when you think it’s almost gone and take it out of the box and realize there’s still tons left and now your non-fancy ass is just drinking a BAG of wine.

  9. On her 98th birthday, my friend’s great aunt imparted some very sage advice to me: Drink what you like not what you think you’re supposed to like. I’d rather be a lush than a connoisseur.

  10. I LOVE WINE! The taxes on alcohol in Canada and Manitoba are different than the states, which makes the cheap stuff not always that cheap up here. I am usually paying around 13 dollars for a kick ass bottle of wine, 2-3 times a week. I work in a Bistro that has given me tonnes of excellent wine education (AKA tastings) that makes me feel more snobbish about the quality of the juice I am drinking.
    WINE <3

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