The blog always enjoys an uptick in visitors in September, and the final four months of the year are always the most read. But a funny thing happened on the way to the usual increase in visitors: It has been a surprisingly large increase, some 5 percent over the last four weeks, and was generated by would-be wine drinkers looking for cheap wine.
How do I know this? Because I can track the search terms people use to get here, and there is no mistaking what they were looking for -- and looking for in numbers they haven’t in years past:
• Top cheap wines 2012
• Best cheap wines 2012
• Best cheap red wine and best cheap white wine
Notice the trend? More, after the jump:
Still, taking all that into account, and given the sales figures that I’ve written about recently, it does seem as if something is going on -- and it doesn’t involve trading up to higher priced wines, something the experts predicted would happen this year.
Did the recession fundamentally change the way Americans buy wine? Did it fundamentally change the way we think about it? Consumption didn’t decrease during the recession, though the amount we spent on wine did. Did we finally learn that we don’t have to spend Winesteam Media kind of money to enjoy wine? More importantly, did we learn that we don’t have to give up wine during a recession? Because that’s what has happened in the past.
If the latter is true, then we’re one step closer to seeing wine as something to drink every day, and not just on special occasions. Which, of course, is one of my goals here, and something I’ve worked diligently to achieve on the blog this year. There do seem to be younger, less experienced wine drinkers visiting the site.So thank you for coming, and I hope you'll come back.
The next questions to answer are not just about consumption, which is too broad. Rather, we need to ask whether we’re drinking wine more often and whether more of us are drinking wine. There has been good work done here by the Wine Market Council, and I’ll be curious to see what their numbers detail over the next several years. Since 2000, the council’s research has shown more people drink wine more frequently, but those so-called core wine drinkers are still only one-fifth of the U.S. population.
So, even with all the good news on the blog, there is still a lot of work to be done.