From the INDIAN WINE ACADEMY Newsletter — 28 March 2011 11:40

Whereas the European and high-end Californian producers are still persuaded that wine is a food product and needs to be part of our meals, a recent study in the US claims that no more than 40% of Americans are drinking wine with meals, a majority of them drinking it away from the dinner table (preferring off dry or slightly sweet wines).

According to a report from Napa Valley Register which says this study confirms that a majority of wines is drunk in the US without food, the USA include about 77 million wine consumers.
The study was conducted by Wine Opinions of about 800 wine drinkers selected from their 5,500 consumer panel members — from the 29 million Americans who drink wine daily or several times a week.

A quarter of the respondents reported that they consumed wine without food, 14% said they drink a significant amount while preparing food, and 19% preferring it with snacks (1).  Only 40% mentioned food on the dinner table with wine. About 54% of the surveyed were women.

Older respondents said they drink wine mostly with meals while more people in the younger segment imbibe it without food.

When ordered in restaurants, 60% said they drink wine with meals while 20% consume it as aperitif.

Wine is drunk by one third on week days and the other two thirds over the weekend.

Surprisingly, while white wine is generally regarded as a preferred aperitif, only a quarter preferred it to red wine.

The study suggests that it is not always advisable to concentrate on the food and wine match and that there are opportunities for wineries to sell additional volumes if they focus on occasions other than dinner, particularly for younger wine lovers or those out just for drinks.

Among the most popular wines in America are reportedly white zinfandel, off-dry chardonnay, slightly sweet pinot grigio, and muscat and riesling.

Even red wines are expected to be slightly sweet and contain perceptible residual sugar and the high-alcohol wines like big Napa cabernets and chardonnays can also appear sweet on the palate even with insignificant levels of residual sugar left after fermentation.

(1) Snacking is the Indian wine drinkers’ usual way of eating.