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According to a recent study, more people are buying wine online. Net direct sales of wine are up 40 percent to $135 million. Furthermore, consumer direct sales by U.S. wineries went up 26 percent to $2.3 billion in 2005, according to the study, VinQuest 2006, provided by VinterActive LLC in California. More than 300 wineries in 33 U.S. states provided information for the study. Fifty-nine percent reported that the fastest growing sales channel was direct sales. During the year, winery tasting room sales grew 33 percent to $1.5 billion; event-driven sales at wineries amounted to $143 million, up 46 percent. And the projected direct sales of wine in 2011 is a whopping $5.4 billion. To what do we owe all this consumer fascination with wine? Experts say the touted health benefits of drinking wine in moderation and great press such as the 2004 Hollywood movie "Sideways" has something to do with it.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|