In her August 26 article, "Current Trends in and Around the World of Wines," blogger and Wine Examiner Leslie Cramer scrutinized the increasing numbers of wine consumers globally. Of course, this was written before the scary, scary days of a market meltdown and severe recessionary fears. But we've heard in other quarters that one of the few commodities that's recession proof is alcohol. People gotta drown their sorrows somehow.
"In the second of a series of articles related to trends in the online wine industry, Global Wine & Spirits is now taking a look at who drives wine consumption worldwide and what the role of the Internet is in market growth.
"World wine consumption is up, slightly. According to Vinexpo 2007, this represents a 1 percent yearly growth in expected volumes and 2.3 percent in expected value between 1999 and 2009. While the news is better for higher-valued wines overall, this growth is not happening everywhere and the
"Taking a closer look at these consumers and their drinking habits, and based on a study of the Wine Market Council, it is interesting to note that a core group of drinkers is driving consumption and therefore growth. This core group of drinkers according to the same study represents 17.4 percent of the population, but consumes 92 percent of volumes. These consumers are going online too: while 5 percent of these core drinkers had bought online in 2000, this number was up to 20 percent in 2006! They have also been buying from wineries: While 6% had bought from a winery site in 2003, 17 percent had bought from a winery website in 2006.
"One wonders if this trend will spread outside the