Millennial consumers have accelerated wine sales in the US to a "tipping point", with per capita consumption projected to surpass three gallons when 2007 figures are counted, according to the US Wine Council.

Last year will be seen as "a watershed moment in our industry's history", council president John Gillespie said yesterday (17 January). US consumption was projected to have broken 300m cases last year, surpassing Italy, with a 4.5% table wine gain.

Gillespie credited the wine habits of millenials - adults under 30 - who are becoming core wine drinkers at a faster rate than previous generations. For the first time, he said, the US boosts a significantly greater number of core (drink wine weekly or more) versus marginal wine drinkers. Also, for the first time in 20 years, the typical core wine drinker is younger than the marginal drinker, with males and females at roughly the same percentage among millenials and 'Generation Xers'.

In 2007, Gillespie said, 23% of wine drinkers reported drinking more wine, with many reducing beer and spirits intake.