How Retailers Can Optimize Their Luxury Wine Selections
Champagne and Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon drive luxury wine sales through Q4 and into 2022
Maximizing sales of high-value wines is always important, but it’s particularly crucial ahead of the holiday season, when consumers tend to reach deeper into their pockets. Sales for luxury wines (defined as those priced at $50 and above) are expected to increase as the holidays approach and consumers seek out higher-end options for gatherings and gifting.
To help prepare for the busy months ahead, BevAlc Insights compiled Drizly data and insights on the best-selling brands, varieties, and regions in the luxury wine category, as well as the most popular choices for gifting.
Drizly’s Best-Selling Luxury Wine SKUs, 2021 to Date
- Veuve Clicquot Brut Yellow Label Champagne
- Dom Pérignon Vintage Champagne
- Caymus Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
- Veuve Clicquot Rosé Champagne
- Moët & Chandon Impérial Brut Champagne
- Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label Gift Box Champagne
- Stag’s Leap Artemis Cabernet Sauvignon
- Moët & Chandon Impérial Rosé Champagne
- The Prisoner Red Blend Red Wine
- Duckhorn Vineyards Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
- Silver Oak Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
- Perrier-Jouët Grand Brut Champagne
- Ruinart Blanc de Blancs Champagne
- Moët & Chandon Nectar Impérial Rosé Champagne
- Moët & Chandon Nectar Impérial Champagne
- Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon
- Moët & Chandon Ice Impérial Champagne
- Louis Roederer Cristal Brut
- Perrier-Jouët Belle Epoque Brut Champagne
- Dom Pérignon Vintage Champagne Gift Box
In 2021 thus far, Champagne accounts for a whopping 64 percent share of sales in the luxury wine category — more than double that of the second-best selling category, red wine, which accounts for a 29 percent share of luxury wine sales. Champagne’s share in 2021 is also up from 59 percent during the same period in 2020.
Furthermore, Champagne’s reign is a clear factor that causes France to account for 70 percent share of countries of origin for the luxury wine category.
“From a premium and above perspective, Champagne’s prestige is unmatched,” says Adam Rogers, North American research director at IWSR Drinks Market Analysis. “For centuries, Champagne has been the beverage of choice for elite members of society and, as a result, Champagne is seen as a status symbol. Its recent growth can be attributed to the on-premise steadily reopening compounded by consumers finding more cause to celebrate.”
Rogers added that “rosé offerings are driving the majority of the category’s growth as it continues to transcend beyond still wine.”
Veuve Clicquot is the clear front runner in the premium Champagne category with three SKUs in Drizly’s six best-selling luxury wine SKUs. Other top-performing Champagne brands include Dom Pérignon, Perrier-Jouët, and Moët & Chandon, which has five SKUs on the top 20 list.
Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Tops Luxury Reds
If consumers aren’t reaching for Champagne when spending upwards of $50 on wine, they’re instead likely to go for a bottle of Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. The best-selling premium red wine SKU is Caymus Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, which comes in third on the top 20 SKUs list. After that, Stag’s Leap’s Artemis Cabernet Sauvignon and Duckhorn Vineyards Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon are top choices.
The Prisoner Red Blend is also a popular pick from Napa Valley, though it’s not strictly a Cabernet, and the remaining top red wines — the Silver Oak Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon and the Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon — come from Sonoma’s Alexander Valley, just a short drive from Napa.
Priyesh Desai, the wine and spirits manager at Sherry’s Wine & Spirits in Washington DC says that California Cabernet is their best-selling category for premium wine. Caymus and Stag’s Leap Cabernet are best-sellers for their store, but Desai says he has noticed consumer interests trending towards other California regions, like Sonoma or Paso Robles, where the wines aren’t quite as big or structured as the Cabs typically coming out of Napa. Pinot Noir from Napa’s Carneros region or Oregon’s Willamette Valley sell well at Sherry’s too. “People are staying away from bold, overwhelming flavors,” he says.
After red wine, sparkling rosé wine, white wine, and rosé wine make up the remaining five percent, but no SKUs from those categories made the top 20 list.
Premium Wines Primed for Gifting
Wines priced at $50 and above are top choices for gifts as well. In 2021 to date, 50 percent of premium wine sales on Drizly were gift orders. Not only is this number up from 33 percent during the same time period in 2020, but it also indexes well above the Drizly average where just 10 percent share of orders are gifts.
Drizly’s Best-Selling Luxury Gift SKUs, 2021 to Date
1. Veuve Clicquot Brut Yellow Label Champagne
2. Dom Pérignon Vintage Champagne
3. Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label Gift Box Champagne
4. Veuve Clicquot Rosé Champagne
5. Moët & Chandon Impérial Brut Champagne
6. Caymus Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
7. Stag’s Leap Artemis Cabernet Sauvignon
8. Moët & Chandon Impérial Rosé Champagne
9. Perrier-Jouët Grand Brut Champagne
10. Dom Pérignon Vintage Champagne Gift Box
“Gift orders overall have seen significant gains over the past couple of years on Drizly, in part the result of the pandemic as consumers sought out ways to send gifts from afar via online ordering,” says Paquette. “This presents a great opportunity for retailers to drive gift sales through this wine category, particularly as the holiday season approaches.”
Unsurprisingly, December is the top month for gift orders; they accounted for up to 20 percent of order share in December 2020.
“Retailers can bundle the wine with other occasion-based necessities such as glassware and small bites meant to be paired. Ensuring the consumer is educated with the wine’s taste nuances and attributes will also bring a heightened level of confidence to the occasion,” suggests Rogers. “This gifting trend is only anticipated to increase further as we head into a holiday season that’s expected to include more social gatherings than in 2020.”