September 4, 2005

Wine Beats Beer as Most Popular Adult Beverage

Believe it or not, a recent Gallup poll shows that more people claim to favor wine over beer when they're looking for a drink. While this may seem very surprising at first glance, beer drinkers probably don't have to worry much about their liquor store's coolers being ripped out in favor of wine racks. As usual, of course, what the numbers mean completely depends on where you get your information.

If you listen to wine people, you can take the news at face value:
According to the recent poll, some 63% of American adults say they drink alcohol. According to news reports, 39% of those prefer wine while 36% opt for beer.

This is an amazing turnaround from the situation in 1992, when beer was the choice of 47% of drinkers and 27% chose wine. Further, beer consumption is down among young adults, ages 21-to-29, but still holds about half of that group's loyalty. Among those over 50, the poll showed wine a clear leader.

There is a split in the demographic by gender, with women opting for a glass of wine and men for a pint of beer -- but it is a bias that is decreasing as more men take up wine.

"There has been virtually no change in preference for liquor among men and women, but the percentage naming beer has declined since 1992/1994 by 12 points among men, and by 6 points among women," Gallup said.
Read the full article at

Beer people have a slightly different take, however. They agree that the data shows an upswing in people claiming to like wine, but point out that "on the flip side, consumers spent $82 billion on beer in 2004, $49 billion on distilled spirits and $23 billion on wine."

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Posted by Jake Jamieson at September 4, 2005 10:27 PM


Recent Comments

Perhaps this is part of the "Sideways" effect? Any catastrophic declines in the consumption of Merlot?

Posted by: Dave Greten at September 7, 2005 10:39 AM
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