Matt Lapides is a real live Millennial, a 23-year old Sonoma State student who lives in a house with a make-shift cellar: his bedroom closet. There are traces of “twenty-something” throughout his house: a refrigerator covered in chalkboard, a glow-in-the-dark fireplace, a brand new, prized decanter on his desk.

Q: As a member of the Millennials, who are you? What’s your favorite music? Your favorite wine?A: As a Millennial, I am a product of the 80’s. I grew up with trophies for every kid on the team, New Kids on The Block, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – My music starts in the underground. By the time it has become mainstream I have already disregarded it and moved on to something else. I don’t appreciate the mass media telling me what to do or how to think, so I try to stay away from it. My favorite wine is anything that is good. This can mean good price, good20taste, good score, or good presentation. I am a strong believer that good and great wine does not need to be expensive and the packaging serves a great deal in catching my attention.

Q: What do Millennials find fascinating about wine? A: Millennials know that there is a story beneath every cork. There is a level of class reserved for wine that is much more unique than all other alcohol. Just because we are younger does not mean that we are unrefined and binge drinkers. We want to learn and be as cultured as anyone else.

Q: How can wineries best target the subset of Millennials who have a serious passion for wine, who sip more and guzzle less?A: If a winery wants to target Millennials, it should be accepting of how we demand quality, image, and history, but we like to think for ourselves. A winery should offer a fun and lively presence with their product. We also understand that there is a difference between a $90 bottle and a $20 bottle, but we would appreciate an explanation explaining the differences. The winery should know that we network and market through each other and a warm smile and a memorable experience in a tasting room can go a very long way.

Q: You didn’t go barrel tasting, but you’ve heard about the generational sniping from the Baby Boomers who think some of the Millennials drink wine with too much gusto. What’s the best way to bridge this generation gap?A: I work in the wine industry and can say that barrel tasting isn’t anything like a normal weekend in wine country. It is an event that is advertised as free flowing wine directly from the barrel. Barrel tasting is marketed as the chance to spend ($30) for a wristband and a wine glass with unlimited pours at multiple wineries. It is not just the Millennials who are drinking with “gusto.” It is anyone who has the desire to drink excessively. To bridge this gap, I feel that the event needs to be marketed in a different manner with more exclusivity. One downside to being a Millennial is that we do not have expendable funds, so if you really don’t want Millennials at these events, raise the price of admission and you will probably see only the avid enthusiast and those with more money to spend –

To my readers, what do you think? How best to bridge the Boomer-Millennial generation gap? Is there any more generational sniping going on?
As for the Wine Road Barrel Tasting, should it be reinvented with a pricier ticket?