By Andy Young

New data from Roy Morgan Research has found that while 37.6 per cent of Australian adults drank beer in any given four-week period last year, 45.1 per cent drank wine.

And the main reason why wine is so dominant over beer in this research was because of the number of female Australian adults drinking it.

During 2015, 4.6 million Australian women 18+ (or 49.0 per cent of the adult female population) drank some kind of wine – white, red, sparkling and/or fortified – in an average four weeks, compared to 3.7 million of men (41.2 per cent). White wine was consumed by 69.3 per cent of female wine drinkers over this time period, making it more popular than red wine (56.3 per cent), sparkling (42.3 per cent) and fortified (9.3 per cent).

Many consumers drink more than one type of wine: in fact, 18.4 per cent of female wine drinkers drink red, white and sparkling wine in any given four-week period.

Andrew Price, general manager – consumer products, Roy Morgan Research, said: “Australian women love their wine and, while especially fond of the white and sparkling varieties, do partake in red and (to a lesser extent) fortified wine as well. While the proportion of women who drink wine has fallen slightly over the last decade (from 51.8 per cent to 49 per cent), the decrease in male wine drinkers has been much more marked (from 48.1 per cent to 41.2 per cent). Beer remains the clear favourite among Aussie men, consumed by 58.1 per cent of them in any given four weeks.

“There is frequently a social dimension to Aussie women’s wine-drinking: over 45 per cent consume it in a licensed venue (for example a bar, pub, restaurant or festival) and nearly 41 per cent drink it at friends’/relatives’ homes. In contrast, 34.6 per cent of male wine-drinkers consume it ‘on premises’, and 32.5 per cent do so at friends’/relatives’ homes.

“Not surprisingly, however, the comfort of home is the most popular place to enjoy a vino, for male and female drinkers alike (85.5 per cent and 80.3 per cent respectively).”

The research also found that male wine drinkers are more likely to drink red wine (78.1 per cent) than white (58.4 per cent). They are dramatically less likely than women to drink sparkling wine (24.6 per cent), much more likely to drink fortified wine (15.4 per cent). Male wine drinkers are also slightly less likely to drink red, white and sparkling (15.6 per cent) in an average four weeks.

Although women far outnumber men when it comes to wine-drinking incidence, the volume each gender consumes is fairly similar. Two-thirds of female wine drinkers and nearly 63 per cent of their male counterparts report consuming less than 15 glasses of wine per four weeks.

Price added: “Less expected, perhaps, is the relatively similar volumes of wine consumed by both genders in an average four weeks, even at the high end of the range (43+ glasses). With the recommended daily alcohol intake being no more than two standard drinks per day, it is worth remembering that moderation is always the best approach to booze, whether it be wine, beer or spirits.” 

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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