Grumpy old wine drinkers

old manAged over 50 and a wine drinker? Then feel aggrieved, feel very aggrieved. Up until now, the over 50s wine drinker has been more or less ignored by the wine industry as you’ve been perceived as neither an exciting or valuable market segment. However demographic changes are forcing a wholesale change in attitudes.

So why are the over 50s becoming increasingly important to the wine industry? Because the population of the UK is aging. Around 21 million Britons are currently aged over-50, and this number is set to increase fast. As nearly twice as many over 50s drink wine everyday compared to the ‘kidz’ you can see why the wine industry is starting to find the older wine drinker an attractive proposition.

But it’s not all good news. The over 50s consistently spend less per bottle than younger wine consumers: £4.50 for the over 50s compared to £4.80 for the under 50s. It may not sound like a great difference but in an industry struggling for profits the extra 30p means more targeted marketing and producing drier, more alcoholic wines suited to the younger palate.

However as a quarter of the over 50s drink wine most days and 65% drink wine at least twice a week, economically the over 50s sector is a better bet. And a better long-term bet at that.

So how will this translate into what we see on the wine aisles? More wines priced at £4.50 or less; fewer lemon tasting mouth puckering wines and more with a sweet edge, plus adverts featuring smiling grey-haired people with unnaturally straight teeth clutching a glass of wine.

Being ignored does have some advantages then.

PG Wine Tips

£3.99 and under

There are still some good bottles to be found that cost the same as a couple of National Lottery tickets.

German Hock

9% alcohol, £2.93 Morrisons (equivalent bottle price as sold in 2-bottle sized tetrapak at £5.87)

This fruity white comes in a handy two bottle-sized tetrapak. Once opened it’ll keep for about five days in the fridge without spoiling. Peach, melon, apple and pear flavours with a slightly sweet edge.

Sainsbury’s South African Chenin Blanc

£3.79 Sainsbury’s

Apple, peach and apricot aromas with flavours of bubblegum and butter pastry.

£5.99 and under

There are a few fruity, slurpable wines among the forgettable masses.

Aldi Australian Bushland Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc and Gewűrztraminer

£5.99 Aldi

A mix and match of grape varieties and flavours. Expect creamy oat, then lime and apple flavours followed by pineapple and avocado. Interesting but strange.

Costs a bit more, but tastes great

Sometimes a bottle of wine tastes so fab it's still a bargain whatever it costs.

De Bortoli Australian Semillon Chardonnay

£6.99 Oddbins

Butter, lemon and lime flavours. Nice with mashed potato.

Tesco Australian Finest Viognier

£7.49 Tesco

Creamy vanilla yoghurt with light apricot flavours.

Casillero del Diablo Chilean Pinot Grigio

£7.49 Waitrose

A light and fruity wine that matches won-tons and quiche. It tastes mainly apple and pear with tinned orange adding a little sweetness.