Tag Archives: Gallup poll

The wine diet will solve all of wine’s problems

wine dietThe wine diet is my mea culpa for suggesting that a Gallup Poll about wine’s decreasing popularity might be accurate

The Wine Curmudgeon stands properly chastised after this week’s post asking whether Americans are turning away from wine. My tiny part of the Internet went crazy – two-thirds more visitors to the blog than normal, comments and emails, and posts on other websites questioning my credulity and sanity.

Because, of course, Americans love wine. What does Gallup know about polling?

So I must hang my head in shame. Who cares that one visitor emailed, “You hit the nail on the head regarding why wine sales have slumped. I never was a beer drinker until all these great craft beers began appearing on the scene and the price of a ‘good’ glass of wine at restaurants kept going up. Why should I pay $12-$14 for a glass of wine when I can have a really good craft beer for $6?”

Or that another left a comment, saying, “A lot of people are turning away from activities, purchases, and lifestyles that seem to be an integral part of anything associated with snobs and pseudo wealth. Wine falls into that category.”

Because, of course, Americans love wine, and anyone who disagrees with that isn’t a real wine drinker. As one very critical visitor suggested recently, I am entirely too negative about wine, as well as a coward. That the visitor apparently used a fake name is probably my fault, too.

Hence this post about the wine diet, which is my way to make amends for any damage I have done by writing honestly and sincerely about the wine business. Because, of course, Americans love wine, so what need is there for me to do what I do?

Women’s Health magazine reports that “Any diet that tells women to eat chocolate and chase it with wine certainly has our attention. … That pretty much explains why the ‘sirtfood diet’ is blowing up right now.”

So forget about varietal correctness or value or quality or fake oak or Mega Purple or letting us know what’s actually in the wine we drink. That’s all curmudgeonly foolishness. All we need to know is that drinking wine will help us lose weight, and we should spend as much money as possible to buy all the wine we can so we will lose lots and lots of weight.

Sigh. And even writing that probably won’t be enough to please the wine business, which considers anything other than Winestream Media-style affection for its products to be disloyal and subversive. Because, of course, Americans love wine, and who am I to argue with that?

Are Americans turning away from wine?

wine preferenceThe number of of us who prefer wine over beer and spirits is at a 14-year low

Unwelcome news for those of us who care about wine: The number of Americans who say they prefer wine over beer and spirits is at a 14-year low.

A July Gallup poll found that 40 percent of us who drink alcohol prefer beer, while 30 percent prefer wine and 26 percent like spirits best. The 30 percent figure is the lowest since 2003, and approaches the historical lows of the 1990s. The trend has continued downward since its peak of 39 percent in 2005, when wine passed beer as the most popular alcoholic beverage in the U.S.

So what’s causing this?

Premiumization, in which we’re paying more for wine that isn’t especially better. Higher prices almost always have something to do with how we decide what we buy. The downward trend, which started in 2009, almost exactly coincides with premiumization.

The decline in restaurant wine sales, again thanks to higher prices. Those of us who might have a glass or two when we eat out may have given that up to save money.

• The craft beer movement, as well Big Beer’s panic-fueled marketing to regain the favor of U.S. drinkers.

• An uptick in the number of Americans who say they don’t drink, at around 38 percent from 35 percent in 2005. My guess is that many of these people are wine drinkers who drink only on birthdays, anniversaries and holidays, but have given up alcohol for health or pricing reasons.