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Wine sales keep rising, but we love our beer, too

Americans are continuing our love affair with wine as 2014 arrives, but we may love beer and spirits even more. Here’s what’s trending in drinks:

We love wine. We drank more last year for the 19th year in a row – up 2 percent to 360 million 12-bottle cases, according to wine consultants Gomberg, Fredrikson & Associates.

We love American wine. California makes 58 percent of all the wine we drink.

We’re not spending the farm on wine. Forty-eight percent of all wine purchased in U.S. shops and supermarkets cost $5 to $11; only 4 percent was $20 and over, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Wine is still playing catch-up as a national pastime drink. Americans drank $99 billion worth of beer and $69 billion worth of spirits in 2012, but only $37 billion of wine, a Gallup poll said.

Craft beer is coming on strong. It rose 15 percent in 2012, while regular beer was up only 1 percent, the Brewers Association said.

• Spirits, especially expensive ones, are gaining. Irish whiskey grew 18 percent in 2012, Gallup said. Bourbon was up 4.5 percent.

Finally in our search for more flavor, we’re turning to hard cider. The U.S. market’s top 10 cider brands grew by 63 percent in 2012, Shanken Daily News website reported.