Nearly 310 million nine-liter cases of wine were sold in the U.S. market in 2022, and table wine accounts for close to 90% of those sales, according to the Beverage Information Group. The category experienced a 2.5% decline in volumes overall, but premium wines achieved 1% growth.
Projections indicate the potential for continued growth in the table wine category, but in the coming years, wine is anticipated to face increased competition from spirits and beer. We have created a comprehensive overview of the U.S. table wine market to help your wine brand better understand the category direction and opportunities.
What is Table Wine?
The term “table wine” has different uses, but in the context of the U.S. wine industry and for the purposes of this data, we will use the term to mean any wine product that is not sparkling or fortified wine. It represents the largest segment of the wine category and does not refer to the quality of the wine. Table wine often has an alcohol content between 7% and 14%.
How Big Is the Table Wine Market?
U.S. consumers nearly equally drink white and red table wine, with red wine representing 143 million 9L cases and white wine representing 130 million cases, and rosé representing just 23 million cases, according to IWSR. Chardonnay sold over 60 million cases, making it the most popular varietal in the category, while Cabernet Sauvignon followed with over 50 million cases sold. Sauvignon Blanc was a distant third, selling just under 20 million cases.
The most popular import category for wine in the U.S. was Italy, as nearly 23 million cases of Italian wine were sold in the U.S., followed by France with 12.6 million.
The table wine category is led by big-volume brands including Franzia Winetaps, Barefoot Cellars, Bota Box, Carlo Rossi, and Sutter Home. However, growth for the top ten wine brands was down -3.3% as category growth was driven by smaller brands.
The brands in the top 50 that saw the highest volume growth were Josh Cellars, which added 546,000 cases and grew 12.2%, La Marca, which added 296,000 cases and grew 10.8%, and Bread & Butter, which added 176,000 cases and grew 15.2%.
The states responsible for the highest sales of table wine were:
- California – 56.5 million cases
- Florida – 26 million cases
- New York – 25.4 million cases
- New Jersey – 14.4 million cases
- Texas – 13.5 million cases
The states and territories responsible for selling the most table wine cases per capita included:
- District of Columbia – 1.7 million cases (3,372 per 1,000 adults)
- New Hampshire – 2.7 million cases (2,512 per 1,000 adults)
- Vermont – 1.2 million cases (2,422 per 1,000 adults)
- Massachusetts – 12.3 million cases (2,312 per 1,000 adults)
- New Jersey – 14.4 million cases (2,076 per 1,000 adults)
Trends Driving Wine Growth
Consumers Trading Up
Although the growth rate of the entire wine category has been somewhat flat, premium wine in the U.S. remains a bright spot and is expected to continue to be so in the years ahead. Global volume growth for premium-and-above wines was around 1% in 2022 as consumers expressed a preference for drinking more expensive wines less frequently.
There are several other positive indicators for premium wine’s resilience through economic uncertainty, as well. The average retail price for a bottle of wine has experienced an upward shift, primarily driven by the ongoing trend of consumers trading up to higher-end price tiers, according to SipSource.
When asked about the types of beverages they remain willing to purchase despite increased expenses, 36% of consumers singled out wine, placing the category ahead of dark liquor (27%) and white liquor (26%), according to Drizly’s 2023 Consumer Report.
Sustainability and Organic Wines
Concerns surrounding sustainability have become more elevated amongst wine drinkers in recent years. The proportion of wine drinkers with a high connection to sustainability in their wine choices jumped from 21% to 30% from 2021 to 2022, according to IWSR.
This has resulted in the organic wine segment showing growth, despite the decline in the non-organic wine market. Consumers perceive these wines as less harmful to the environment and generally higher quality. Overall, organic wine volumes grew at a CAGR of +7% in the U.S. from 2017-2022.
Packaging is another simple area where many wine brands are incorporating more sustainable practices into their business model. Manufacturing and transporting glass bottles requires energy and bottle weight was responsible for up to 31% of the variability in greenhouse gas emissions, according to a study of German wineries. Rethinking your brand’s packaging can reduce emissions, and costs, and potentially attract consumers with a high value on sustainability.
Younger Consumers Taking an Interest
While younger drinkers tend to prefer spirits over categories like beer and wine, there has been a significant increase in purchase rates of wine on-premise, especially driven by a surge in younger adult drinkers.
Their knowledge of the wine space may be lower, but these younger enthusiasts are often more engaged and exhibit distinct behaviors within the wine category. They tend to consume less wine per occasion and demonstrate a higher level of moderation.
Younger consumers also show less engagement with mainstream brands and are more open to exploring the category with a preference for a ‘buy less but better’ approach. This shift plays well with the other ongoing trends of premiumization and sustainability within the wine industry.