Luxury Institute Premium Wine Survey Documents Drinking Habits of America's Wealthy, Reveals the Brands They Buy, and How Much They Spend

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwired - March 22, 2016) -  Affluent U.S. consumers enjoy their wine, with 90% identifying themselves as wine drinkers, and 58% saying that they drink wine at least once per week, and 78% drinking wine at least monthly. These individuals are also willing to pay premium prices for preferred vintages, an average of $28 per bottle of wine in store, $36 at a restaurant for a casual weekday dinner, and $48 when dining on a weekend or for special occasions.

These are among findings of the New York-based Luxury Institute's just-released 2016 Premium Wine Luxury Brand Status Index (LBSI) survey of consumers 21 and older from households with income of at least $150,000 a year.

Gender, age, and income all tend to have an effect on wine consumption habits of the wealthy. Women are more inclined than men (61% vs. 55%) to drink wine at least once a week, and the frequency of weekly wine drinking escalates after age 55, peaking among the 65 and older group, 63% of whom say that they consume at least weekly.

As income rises, so does the likelihood that an affluent American drinks wine once per week. Slightly more than half (53%) of respondents earning less than $200,000 drink wine weekly or more frequently, an incidence that rises to two-thirds (67%) of those earning $500,000 or more in annual income.

How much an individual is willing to spend on wine increases predictably with income, and decreases with age. Buyers under the age of 45 spend $33 per bottle on average in a retail store, compared to $23 per bottle among those 65 and older. Those who earn less than $200,000 spend $24 on average at retail, while those with incomes of $500,000 and up spend an average of $41 per bottle.

Seven out of eight affluent U.S. consumers report purchasing wine in restaurants, and 28% do so at least once per week, but these purchases are most frequently (62%) by the glass. Consumers earning more than $500,000 are the most likely (63%) to buy wine by the bottle in restaurants, and they spend the most, an average of $70 per bottle on special occasions and $55 for a casual weekday dinner. This is far higher than the $48 average price per bottle that all affluent consumers spend for a special occasion wine, and $36 for weekday dining. Men tend to spend more than women, and younger drinkers are willing to pay more for wine than older consumers are.

"Wine is a big business among the wealthiest segment of the population," says Luxury Institute CEO Milton Pedraza. "What we hear from wealthy consumers is that they are willing to pay premium prices for brands that they perceive to be true purveyors of a luxury product and experience."

Wealthy wine drinkers also evaluated 21 premium domestic wine brands on the degree to which each embodies the four "pillars" of brand value: superior quality, exclusivity, enhanced social status and an overall superior consumption experience. Respondents also reveal which wines are worth paying premium prices, those that they would recommend to people close to them, and which brand they will buy next. The following are the 21 labels that have been rated by wealthy consumers:

1. Beaulieu Vineyards

2. Caymus Vineyards

3. Decoy

4. Ferrari Carano

5. Franciscan Estate

6. Frei Brothers Reserve

7. Ghost Pines

8. J Lohr

9. Justin

10. Kendall Jackson Grand Reserve

11. Kim Crawford

12. La Crema

13. Meiomi

14. Mount Veeder

15. Robert Mondavi Winery

16. Rombauer Vineyards

17. Ruffino

18. Saved

19. Simi

20. Sonoma Cutrer

21. Wild Horse

About Milton Pedraza and Luxury Institute, LLC

Milton Pedraza is the CEO of the Luxury Institute. Over the past 12 years, Milton has established the Luxury Institute, first and foremost, as a high performance client relationship consulting firm serving more than 1,000 luxury and premium goods and services brands across dozens of categories. The Luxcelerate System has helped brands significantly improve client data collection, conversion, and retention rates. In addition, the Institute has conducted more research with affluent consumers than any other entity in the world.

Milton advises and coaches luxury CEOs and advises the boards of top-tier luxury and premium brands, as well as luxury startups. He is sought after worldwide for his practical, innovative and humanistic insights and recommendations on luxury and is the most quoted global luxury industry expert in leading media and publications.

Milton is also an authority on customer relationship management technologies, analytics, and Big Data. Prior to founding the Luxury Institute, his successful career at Fortune 100 companies included executive roles at Altria, PepsiCo, Colgate, Citigroup and Wyndham Worldwide.

Milton was born in Colombia, raised in the United States, and has lived in several countries. He has conducted business in over 100 countries, and speaks several languages.

The complete 2016 Premium Wine Luxury Brand Status Index is available for purchase. For complete rankings and ratings of all 21 wine brands, along with additional insights from the survey, visit, or contact Luxury Institute CEO Milton Pedraza (

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