The Gallup organization has been tracking American drinking habits since the 1930's. This week they reported on the growing gap between those who mainly prefer beer and those who mainly prefer wine. Here's the chart that describes the behavior of people aged 30-49. In 2005, in this group, wine consumption nearly, but not quite, equaled that of beer. Since, wine has fallen off.
Among the group aged 50 and above, wine has been steadily preferred with beer showing some gains since '05.
Why do Americans favor beer? My guess is that it has something to do with U.S. immigration patterns that from the beginning favored beer drinking northerners (British, Germans) over Mediterranean types (French. Italians). The beer-wine rivalry reaches well back in history to a time when wine-bibbing Roman legions faced-off against beer-loving Celts.
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ContributorsSheryl Julian, the Globe's Food Editor, writes regularly for the Food section.
Devra First is the Globe's food reporter and restaurant critic. Her reviews appear weekly in the Food section.
Ellen Bhang reviews Cheap Eats restaurants for the Globe and writes about wine.