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.