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Wine now neck-and-neck with beer as Australia’s favourite alcoholic drink
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WOMEN and their beloved wine have turned the booze-popularity table on its head.
Forty years ago, beer was the Aussie drink of choice. About 70 per cent of drinkers chose beer, 20 per cent drank wine, and 10 per cent had spirits.
According to Australian Hotels Association SA general manager Ian Horne, times have changed.
He believes a huge shift in women’s incomes, social and drinking habits over the past four decades, their drinking “presence” and preference for wine has toppled beer as the bar favourite.
ABS figures show beer and wine are neck and neck at about 40–40, plus 20 per cent spirits.
“And we’re all drinking less overall. In 1974–75, pure alcohol consumption per adult was 13.6 litres a year. Today, it’s falling under 9 litres per adult. That’s pure alcohol, not drinks,” Mr Horne said.
Roy Morgan research shows beer is part of our national identity, but only 37.6 per cent of adults drank it over any four-week period last year, while 45.1 per cent chose wine.
Women wine drinkers far outnumber men, but volumes of wine consumed by each gender is now similar. Two thirds of females and nearly 63 per cent of males drink less than 15 glasses of wine a month.
White wine, chosen by 69.3 per cent of female wine drinkers, wins out over red (56.3 per cent), sparkling (42.3 per cent) and fortified (9.3 per cent).
Men prefer red (78.1 per cent) to white (58.4 per cent), are dramatically less likely to order bubbles (24.6 per cent), and much more likely to drink fortified wine (15.4 per cent).
But Roy Morgan chief Andrew Price, says “beer remains the clear favourite among Aussie men”.
The figures add up says Ophelia Veloudos, 18, of Medindie Gardens, who drinks white or rose. Few of her girlfriends drink beer, “although they might go for a cider”.
“I think women worry about the calories in beer, but most of us just prefer the taste of wine,” she says.