Drinking demos

Who drinks wine? In this holiday season, thanks to holiday party merry-go-round, almost everyone who drinks alcohol drinks wine—even if they prefer brews or fire water.
But who drinks wine irrespective of season? The Gallup organization did extensive research on this pressing question; here are answers.

The more money you make, the more education you earned, the more wine and the more alcohol you drink: 78% of households with incomes of $75,000 or more self-report they drink alcohol. Only 45% of households with less than $30,000 self-report alcohol use. College graduates: 80% drink alcohol. High school grad or less: 52% drink alcohol.

What we drink marginally has changed. In 1992, 47% of Americans drank beer, 27% drank wine, 21% drank liquor. Today, 42% drink beer (down five points), 34% drink wine (up seven points), and 21% drink liquor (no change).

There is an interesting flip side when Gallup asked who over-consumed alcohol (politically correct way of asking who got drunk). Only 24% of folks with $75,000-plus household incomes self-reported drinking too much, while 27% of household incomes under $30,000 reported drinking too much. College degree, only 18% say they have been drunk, while 28% of people with high school degree or less reported they have been drunk.

This is self-reporting, so higher income swells with college degrees may know how to answer questions to cover themselves better than high school grads (not an unreasonable assumption). Still, insight into wine drinkers. You have higher income, more education, and believe you get drunk less often than non-wine drinkers. Don’t let it go to your head while you think, “I knew that. I totally knew that.”

Tasting notes:

• Gallo Family Vineyards Moscato NV: Crisp, loads of flavor, loads of sweetness, exactly what millions want. $5

• Columbia Crest H3 Horse Heaven Hills Cabernet Sauvignon 2013: No flaws, palate-pleasing pleasure, winner in everyday wine category. $12-15

• Ravenswood Dickerson Zinfandel 2013: Zin with finesse and grace, bravo. $37

• Simi Landslide Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2012: Deeply delicious; nice for price at this quality level. $38

Last round: The worst thing about some people is when they are not drunk they are sober.