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Why is Wine Now More Popular Than Beer?

Updated on November 16, 2016
janderson99 profile image

Dr. John uses his scientific skills (PhD) to research & review wine and wineries topics & guides. John has 5 websites on Ausralian wineries

Wine is quickly becoming American's drink of choice, not only for women and young people, but also for die-hard older men who are classic beer drinkers. Advertisers and retailers are staggered and can't understand why all the new range of Lite Beers, and greatly expanded range of designer custom, craft, boutique and homemade styles beers and varieties, have failed to quell the vino take over of traditional markets.

It is happening worldwide and is a general trend in developed countries. Even mead is becoming very popular once again.

It is hard to understand why this is happening and where the trend is heading. Wines have become a lot less expensive recently and the number and styles have increased, but there is more to the changes than price.

Oddly the more to micro-brewing and designer label custom beers produced in small quantities may have triggered wider interest in trying new alcohol beverages including wines.

This article shows the recent trends and highlights some of the reasons why the shift to wines as a drink of choice may have occurred.

Beer has a traditional popularity that is waning, being replaced by wine as drink of choice.
Beer has a traditional popularity that is waning, being replaced by wine as drink of choice. | Source
Wine is becoming much more popular, even among the die-hard beer drinkers
Wine is becoming much more popular, even among the die-hard beer drinkers | Source
Poll data shows that beer is becoming less popular and is being replaces as the drink of choice by Wine and Spirits
Poll data shows that beer is becoming less popular and is being replaces as the drink of choice by Wine and Spirits | Source

Changing Trends in Alcoholic Drinks of Choice

A newly conducted Gallup poll has showcased the toll on beer sales

  • 50% of drinkers now say they drink wine more often than beer
  • 35% of people drank more wine than any alternative alcoholic beverage
  • 36% of people choose beer more often
  • 23% prefer spirits more often
  • 36% said they now drank wine more often now than they did before


Twenty years ago, in 1992, 47% chose beer and 27 % wine, with spirits remaining about the same. So the gain in popularity of wine has been at the cost of s decline in preference for beer.

The biggest shift from beer to wine occurred for the 18-29 year-olds and women.

About 52% of women now prefer wine compared with 43% 20 years ago.

About 53% of men drink beer more often, but wine preference in men has grown 5%, with about 20% of men now listing it as their highest preference.

What are the Reasons for the Shift from Beer to Wine

1. The tradition beer drinkers, the blue-collar workers are struggling with the economic down turn and this struggle, pulls the beer consumption down.

2. Craft and imported beers are more expensive and people drink less of these. There has been a decline in the cheaper lighter style of beers that were popular 10 years ago.

3. Americans are now more health-conscious and this has affect beer, juice and soda sales that are all down. However wine, tea and bottled water have all increased in popularity.

4. In 1980, there were only about 8 major breweries in America. Now there are more than 2,000. Wine has generally got a lot cheaper relative to beer, and the designer craft beers are quite expensive and the people who choose they wines drink less, a 6-pack of small bottles, rather than a case of beer cans or bottles.

5. In 1992 more than 70% or people polled said beer was their favorite. Twenty years later the percentage has nearly halved to only 40%. Drink preference have clearly changed.

6. Younger drinkers, especially women have shifted away from beer towards wine.

© 2013 Dr. John Anderson

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  • tirelesstraveler profile image

    Judy Specht 4 years ago from California

    More people are gluten free and can't drink regular beer.

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