America Drinking More Wine, Less Whiskey Than 30 Years Ago

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Nice Move

This unfortunate finding from an interesting NPR story on America’s alcohol spending habits today compared to thirty years ago. As you can see, Americans are buying a lot more wine, and a lot less hard liquor.

It should be noted this graphic illustrates money spent, not amount purchased, but basically wine and liquor have switched places. I’m guessing that this trend is at least in part thanks to the rise of cheap but relatively quality wines like Yellow Tail hitting the shelves. They’re a sort of middle tier wine option that wasn’t available twenty years ago. Back in the 80’s your options were pretty much limited to boozey grape juice or the overpriced stuff. How do I know? Obviously I wasn’t even close to the drinking age in the 80’s, but I WAS breast fed, and God could I taste that garbage wine my mom was drinking. So if you’re ever wondering where I got my drinking habits, mom, I LEARNED THEM FROM YOU! But it’s a miracle that I learned anything since I’m pretty sure all the second hand wine I ingested as an infant is what gave me ADHD!

Anyway, another probable contributing factor to this trend is the fact that in many states, like Texas, wine can be purchased in grocery stores, and later at night, while liquor sales are limited to “liquor stores” that are forced to close earlier in the evening. Also I like to think the rampant purchasing of Franzia for float trips and sorority formal pre-games contributed to this shift as well.

So keep on slapping the bag kids, but don’t forget the bottle.



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  1. 4

    as a drinker of both it’s simple. california wines have gotten to the point where they are now better than anything made in europe (or anywhere else for that matter) as well as much more expensive. a good bottle of napa or sonoma used to be around $10 in the 1980s, today try close to $100 a bottle. meanwhile the bottle booze, let’s say southern comfort for example, has largely remained the same, still around $20.

    ^ ThisTake a lapLog in or sign up to reply. • 4 years ago
  2. 1

    Bag slapping probably has a strong hand in the switch of numbers.

    Side note: Law in Louisiana – Legal to purchase any type of alcohol until 2am. Plus they sell liquor in gas stations and grocery stores. Rest of the country needs to get with it.

    ^ ThisTake a lapLog in or sign up to reply. • 4 years ago
    • -1

      I’m not saying that its only like that in Louisiana, just that other parts of the country most of the time have ass-backwards legislation when it comes to the sale of alcohol. At a Braves game the GDI selling beer ID’d my 48 year old father. What is even the point in doing all of that shit? Real conservatism goes against that because the federal government strong armed states into changing the drinking age by threats of withholding highway funding, and that’s when some of the ridiculous started coming into play.

      ^ ThisTake a lapLog in or sign up to reply. • 4 years ago
    • -4
      Fraty Tastic

      Las Vegas is about the only place in the country where they have things right. You can buy and drink any sort of alcohol 24/7, 365 days a year.

      ^ ThisTake a lapLog in or sign up to reply. • 4 years ago