Booze, Enjoyment, Wine

Women Wine Drinkers Overtake Men — Who Still Gets the Wine List

Comments Off on Women Wine Drinkers Overtake Men — Who Still Gets the Wine List 03 May 2010

Review by John Mariani

May 3 (Bloomberg) — I was surprised to read that 53 percent of wine drinkers in the U.S. are women, according to the Wine Market Council. And last year, women matched men as “core drinkers,” those who drink wine at least once a week.

That trend may accelerate if women heed the results of a recent survey of 20,000 women over 13 years by Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital. The poll showed that women who regularly drink a moderate amount of alcohol, particularly red wine, are less likely to have long-term weight gain than nondrinkers.

Nevertheless, when a man and a woman sit down to dinner in a restaurant, it’s usually the guy who grabs or is handed the wine list and chooses the bottle.

“In our more up-scale dining restaurants, eight times out of ten, it is the gentlemen at the table still making the decisions,” said Virginia Philip, sommelier at The Breakers hotel in Palm Beach, Florida.

Philip, 42, is one of only 13 women certified as a Master Sommelier out of 130 worldwide. She oversees a cellar of 28,000 bottles and 1,600 selections at the resort’s L’Escalier fine dining room and eight other restaurants, with prices ranging from $35 to $15,000.

“If women are drinking with other women, obviously they choose the wine,” she said in a phone interview. “European women tend to be more comfortable ordering wine when men are present at the table.”

In the past, men were always automatically handed the wine list everywhere, she said.

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