Are you drinking less wine today? Share your story

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recession1a.jpgI know for a fact that I’m not drinking less wine but the average dollar amount that I spend on wine has dropped. And according to Wine Spectator, most Americans are doing the same – spending less but not drinking less with the economic downturn. I too have found myself paying a little extra attention to the cost of the bottles that I buy. Shiv Singh discusses what the economy is doing to his wine buying and asks you to share your story.


Now I’m a person who splits his time between New York and Delhi. When I’m in New York I invariably drink a lot more at home (dare I admit a glass practically every evening) while in Delhi it is usually at restaurants and parties. With the economic down turn I’m paying more attention to the wines I buy for everyday drinking in NY and less so in India. Here’s what’s changed –
Instead of buying a bottle every second or third day on my way home from work, I’ve become a member of the Wall Street Journal Wine Club. The benefit – I get better wines at reduced prices. Deals that I simply do not get from my local wine store. Joining a wine club in a downturn can help you save money while you still buy the same amount of wine as you used to in the past.
When I do go into my local wine shop, I go less frequently but buy more wines. Most wine shops in America offer discounts if you buy six or twelve bottles. I take advantage of those offers which is something that I never used to do. I won’t be surprised if more and more wine retailers in India start offering bulk discounts too. The tricky piece is that when you buy six bottles at once, you’re not truly buying wine based on your mood or what you know you have in store for dinner that evening. It’s a purchase based on what you think you might be eating the rest of the week – a very different story!
I also find that when I’m a wine store now, I’m being more experimental. Normally, I buy mostly Bordeaux and some Napa wines. With the economic downturn and the feeling that I should be more prudent with my expenditures, I’m seeking out cheaper alternatives. This usually takes me to the popular South American and Spanish wines (think Malbecs and Tempranillos). They’re not quite the replacements for Bordeaux (the styles are different) but they’re quality wines and definitely better value for money. I tend not to go for cheaper Bordeaux wines because I don’t feel they meet the same quality threshold as the quality Chilean and Argentinean wines that I get at similar prices.
surveynumbers.jpgSo that’s it. With the downturn, I’m not drinking less but what I purchase and how I purchase has most certainly changed. Have your purchasing style and drinking habits changed? For your reference, here’s how wine consumption has changed for Americans according to a survey conducted by Wine Spectator.

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