April 6, 2012 — In times of financial hardship such as these, one might think that consumers are not willing to spend extra dollars on high-end wines. This is not so for the first quarter of 2012 as sales of wines priced $20 and more increased 24 percent as the same period in 2011, more than any other price segment, according to Winesandvines.com. Wines in the other price segments, $15 to $19.99 and $11 to $14.99, rose 16 and 9 percent, respectively.
Pinot Noir sales grew the most of all major varietals in the $20 and up category at 32 percent. Cabernet Sauvignon finished not too far behind in the same category, with an increase of 28 percent. Chardonnay saw a 19 percent jump in the same price segment.
“The picture was not so bright in the largest price segment for both imports and domestics: $5-$7.99. This segment was nearly flat for domestic wines, with just 1% growth in the first quarter. Imports in this price range dropped in sales by 7%. The import category as a whole lost 1% in the first quarter.”