Gallup: “On Mars, They Drink Beer; on Venus, Wine”

manwomanchairIf an alien landed in a room full American wine drinkers, it would meet mostly college educated, AARP eligible women, probably not from the midwest. There would be relatively few men aged 18 (!) to 49. So says the polling group, Gallup. Almost.

In their annual survey of how and what American drinks, the smokin’ pollsters at Gallup point to a gender gap where men prefer beer and women prefer wine. (For beer-wine-spirits preferences, men are 58-19-18 while women are 21-50-24. Click through for full summary and charts.)

How does this square with your experience? In my own, I find a lot of enthusiasm for wine among them there young folks. And men and women seem equally into wine. But my evidence is purely anecdotal!

As to the economic effect of the recession, they say it is hard to sort out. But their main finding is that the percentage of Americans who drink alcohol is the same as last year, at 64%. Meanwhile, over on the Big Board, The AP has this about the quarterly numbers from Constellation (STZ): “Sales for the company, whose brands include Robert Mondavi wines and Svedka brand vodka, dropped 15 percent to $791.6 million from $931.8 million on the stronger dollar as well as the sales of the value spirits business, spirits contract production services and some Pacific Northwest wine brands.”

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8 Responses to “Gallup: “On Mars, They Drink Beer; on Venus, Wine””

  1. I think it squares exactly with my experience and exactly with my own relationship.

  2. You can make survey data say anything. Here in Yakima Valley wine country tasting roomes as many men drink wine as women and not all women are just “white wine” drinkers. I love wine. It’s part of my work and my food palate. As a dark and chewy girl who loves stouts, porters and barley wine style ales, great beers are mystical. Remember it takes a lot of ggreat beer to make great wine! Vive la yeast!

  3. Bosh! Wine consumption has been on a steady rise for years. The poll does not reflect that, clearly indicating that the result was skewed.

  4. It’s one thing to look at a wine tasting or winery tour–in those cases the big wine fans have pulled out of the general population and put in a small room, which can distort perception. In that case, I’d have to say from my experience here in Memphis, all wine drinkers are over 40 and most are male. (It was weird when I got heavy into wine as a 25-year old; I was always the youngest person at a tasting by at least twenty years. Now that I’m 32, the numbers aren’t much better.)

    Let’s go to a more random sampling, such as a party or wedding reception. Men are drinking beer and women are drinking wine (White Zin or Pinot Grigio), but the latter aren’t discussing wine or analyzing it, it’s just the Female Drink. I actually know guys who will, in hushed tones, admit that they have a glass of wine every now and then but would never consume wine in public or order it in a restaurant, because it’s perceived as effeminate.

    Depending on the occasion and how much wine *I’ve* had, such a statement is liable to spark my speech about the wine-fueled Roman army conquering Europe and Vikings drinking wine from the hollowed-out skulls of their enemies.

  5. I think the numbers make sense if you’re looking at the mass of the population. However, my memory seems convinced reading somewhere that spirits and wine were scoring higher than beer sales in the US. Hm.

  6. The Gallup study is quite flawed. They interview respondents as young as 18. They only had 667 “wine drinkers” in their poll, and these skewed heavily toward infrequent wine drinkers. By contrast, the annual Wine Market Council survey starts with about 4,000 U.S. adults and includes about 1,200 wine drinkers, half of whom are core wine drinkers (drink wine weekly or more often). When you look at wine/beer/spirits preferences in the WMC poll, you get a completely different – and much more accurate – set of results.

  7. I’m 24 and male and I really enjoy wine. In my circle of college educated friends, it’s rare to find someone who appreciates wine as much as, or more than, me. Most of the women I know drink wine more often than the men, but they drink Yellowtail. In fact, the few men who drink any wine drink Yellowtail because either their girlfriends make them share a bottle, or they keep a bottle in the fridge for when a lady-caller comes by.

  8. […] SIPPED: bottoms up Gallup released its annual poll about the drinking patterns of Americans. Wine’s slightly down, but the data show the amount of people consuming alcohol at a 25 year high (hello, recession?). See our discussion about last year’s data. […]


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