Riki Reinking is a musician whose gigs at wineries have given her a view of the tasting habits of baby boomers and millennials, two generations that appreciate wine.
This weekend’s highly popular Wine Road Barrel Tasting may provide a perfect window into the choices and experiential style of these two populations –– experienced, older palates and zealous, newer tasters.
Reinking, 58, was the lead singer of the Karma Band before it disbanded last year, and she kept a keen eye on how baby boomers and millennials experienced the Wine Road Barrel Tasting. Here are her general impressions:
#1 Tasting Agenda
The baby boomers show up and park themselves at one winery for a few hours. Meanwhile the millennials are more likely to come in waves on buses; these roving tasters are in and out of wineries in roughly 40 minutes because they have quite a few stops on their route.
# 2 Fashion
Both populations tend to dress up for the occasion, but females in the millennial camp may end up carrying their high heels in one hand and a glass of wine in the other. Walking in vineyards is not so easy in heels, something their moms figured out long ago.
The Karma Band had to constantly read the crowd to serve whichever population was restless. The baby boomers’ comfort zone tends to fall in hits from the 1960s, 70s and 80s, a la Beatles, Fleetwood Mac, light rock and well-known songs. Millennials will want to sprinkle in some newer and more energetic music like Adele, Train and Fastball, popular music found on the radio. But millennials also appreciate music from the roots of rock and roll. The common denominator is the Beatles. “If you play something from the Beatles,” Reinking said, “you couldn’t go wrong.”
The Wine Road Barrel Tasting is this weekend, March 2-4, and March 9-11 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. For detailed information about the participating wineries, etc., visit www.wineroad.com.
Wine writer Peg Melnik can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 707-521-5310.