The recently released Gray Report outlining what millennials want from wine is not in any way like the 19th century treatises, written by men, mandating what women want from marriage. It is a thoughtfully composed analysis — admittedly for the US market — of how the underlying worldview of millennials trumps the power of convention. They prioritise health, excitement and personal experience. They want to know what is in the wine (a list of product ingredients), they find many branded wines boring and they seek a more personal engagement with the product and the producer. While this dichotomy is most marked in the generational divide, it is also evident in the way the market for luxuries has changed in the past couple of decades. What used to be recognised as tokens of wealth — perceived rarity and heavily advertised deluxe brands — has a rival in what Francis Percival has called “narrative” and I prefer to call “curated” luxury. To understand the difference, imagine checking into a ...

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