Over 21, Under 35

Haute wine bars and restaurants are increasingly catering to the under-30 oenophile.


Published:

If you’re asked to show ID at a restaurant, you’d assume the maître d’ was simply certifying that you were “of age.” But which age? At a growing number of restaurants and bars, it’s not enough to be over 21. It’s being under 30 that counts.

Weekly “Under-30 Evenings” are a hit at Jasper, a Michelin-starred restaurant in the regal Palace Luzern hotel in Lucerne, Switzerland. Guests must present their IDs before ordering a special three-course dinner menu that, at 59 Swiss Francs, or roughly $70, is tailored to the 20-something’s budget. (That bottle of hard-to-find Rosenauer Süsswein still sells at full price, though.)

There’s a simple business truth at the heart of this calculated ageism. As Jasper’s Executive Assistant Manager Raymond Hunziker puts it, “These younger guests of today are our patrons of tomorrow.”

Millennials offer the wine industry growth potential not seen since the 1970s, when underage Baby Boomers became Chardonnay-crazed adults. But capturing the attention—and pocketbooks—of this demographic can prove tricky.

A study by research group Wine Opinions in 2011 found that 31% of Millennials drink wine without food. Restaurants have responded by allocating space to lounges where young guests can sip socially without sitting down to a meal.

Last fall, Manhattan’s renowned French restaurant Le Bernardin debuted a new lounge area where patrons can still get their glass of Trefethen Oak Knoll Cabernet Sauvignon—but don’t have to wear a jacket.

Related Articles

Region to Watch: The Rocks, Oregon

In northern Oregon, highly coveted, distinctly funky wines are being made from grapes that sprout from a bed of stones.

Top Italian Wine Alternatives

Wines from these unheralded denominations will satisfy your thirst for greatness at reasonable prices.

5 Perfect Pours to Celebrate Fall

Our editors pick the perfect pours for celebrating these glorious rites of the season.

Argentina’s Alternative Top-Rated Wine

Malbec is Argentina’s defining wine, but a growing number of ­top-quality Cabernet Sauvignons—and a few Cabernet Francs—prove that the country is no one-trick pony.

Subscribe

You can unsubscribe at any time. View an example of our newsletter.

Shop

>

Related Web Articles