Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Beer drinkers pretend to be wine drinkers

Americans claim we drink more wine than beer, but don't believe us. We're still a nation of beer drinkers who lie to ourselves.

Gallup has been running an opinion survey on alcohol since 1939. A couple of years ago the poll got attention because for the first time, more survey respondents named wine as their favorite beverage, rather than beer. This was also true in 2009.

Numbers tell a very different story. In 2008, 705 million gallons of wine were sold in the United States -- compared to 6,628 million gallons of beer. That's more than 9 times as much.

So either the average beer drinker consumes 9 times as much as the average wine drinker -- not impossible, I grant you -- or, more likely, a whole lot of people claim they prefer wine when they've got a fridge full of Blue Moon (a MillerCoors product, FYI.)

One thing hasn't changed about Americans' drinking habits in 70 years. This year 36% of American adults claimed to drink no alcohol at all; the figure has stayed between 35 and 40 percent for decades.

Of course, since beer drinkers were already lying about preferring wine ... makes you wonder how many empty booze bottles are found behind the homes of "teetotallers."

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