Growing up in the world of wine and spirits, I understood the joys of opening a bottle or stirring a cocktail before I was old enough to sip them myself. My fascination with the experiential aspect of the industry lingered as I started my career and became certified with an advanced degree from the Wine & Spirit Education Trust.
I graduated with the bulk of the millennial generation – during the start of the recession. At that time, when my friends and I could barely afford our rent, opening a bottle of wine with my friends felt more appropriate than buying a new pair of shoes. It was also more affordable and eventually became more appealing.
That desire for experiences over materials has grown today. Many seem to find more joy in what they do than in what they own.
By the time I got engaged in my late twenties, that philosophy was deeply engrained in me – experiences over possessions. My fiancé and I were already living together, and didn't need to start from scratch filling our home with necessities, let alone extra stuff. We felt we already had everything we could possibly need.
I knew this must be a common experience for modern engaged couples while registering for wedding gifts. Statistics show that as couples are getting married a little older (the average age is now 27 for women and 29 for men, as opposed to 23 and 26 respectively in 1990), their wants and needs are changing.
At the same time, there has been a seismic shift in wine consumption. According to a 2016 Wine Market Council study, the millennial generation comprises the largest wine consuming market in the history of the United States. Of the 79 million millennials in the United States, 36 percent of them drink wine, compared to 34 percent of 75 million baby boomers.
That's when the idea for ThirstyNest, the first Wine & Spirits wedding registry, was born.
Rather than your wedding gifts collecting dust in storage, ThirstyNest allows you to register for gifts that will help create memories together, giving happy hour its happily ever after. There are one-click registries that feature a curated collection of glassware, furniture, bar tools and accessories.
With the idea in place, I was both thrilled and terrified, but more than ready to help all ThirstyNest's newlyweds build their dream home bars. I wanted to make it a seamless experience for couples, and create a brand with a fun, approachable and modern voice. I believe I did just that.
About the author: Jacki Strum learned the difference between red and white wine glasses when Saved by the Bell was still airing new episodes — leading to an Advanced Certificate from the Wine & Spirit Education Trust and a 15-year career in the wine & spirits industry. After a lifetime of fielding wine and spirits questions from friends, she can't wait to be that one friend that knows all about booze — maybe too much — for all of ThirstyNest's newlyweds.