Turns Out Gen Z Has One Surprising Drinking Habit

Besides tequila, non-alcoholic cocktails and canned drinks, the youngest drinking age group is embracing a parental favorite

Female friends toasting while floating in hotel pool during party - stock photo
Young drinkers are embracing different tipples than their parents, according to Drizly
Thomas Barwick / Getty Images

According to the latest drinks survey from Drizly, the youngest legal-age drinkers are gravitating toward a parental staple: Red wine.

Released this week, the Drizly 2022 Consumer Trend Report is a nationwide survey of 1,000+ adults of legal drinking age conducted during April 2022. The stated goal of this survey, now in its fourth iteration, was to find summer drinking trends.

Some of the results weren’t that much of a surprise — a wide cross-section of drinkers are embracing ready-to-drink (RTD) cocktails, particularly tequila-based ones (we told you this was coming). And tequila itself is pretty much on its way to being the spirit of choice for American imbibers; 17% of respondents said they’d buy more tequila this year, which is seven points higher than American whiskey, a former category leader, and only one percent off of vodka.

But once you start looking at drinking trends by age group, a few interesting variations emerge. According to the Drizly survey, Gen Z is an age group that’s more willing to try non-alcoholic drinks, which isn’t a surprise. They’re also “more apt to splurge for premium-priced alcohol” than older generations.

But the embrace of red wine comes as quite an outlier. “The nation’s youngest legal drinkers cited red wine as the drink they most anticipate buying more of this year, topping a list that included tequila and hard seltzer,” as the report notes. When asked what drink they plan to buy more of this year, Gen Z respondents put red wine (38%) on top, over tequila, vodka, hard seltzer, rosé and RTDs. This red wine craving outpaced the same answer expressed by Millennials (23%) and Gen X (19%).

One theory of ours as to why wine is blowing up with the younger generations? Wine is doing well on TikTok — and users on that social media site are doing a good job at aiming wine knowledge at younger (legal) drinkers. And there’s a younger generation of winemakers from classic wine regions like Bordeaux that are appealing to like-minded and similarly-aged imbibers.

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