Just like holidays past, many Americans will still sit down to their holiday meals with a glass of wine this year, pandemic aside. To understand the landscape of wine buying during this unprecedented holiday season, from entertaining to gift-giving, CivicScience studied a series of surveys on the topic.

The first key finding: among adults 21 and older, 58% of them report they will buy wine this holiday. 

According to the same results but rebased by just more than 3,200 wine buyers, most are planning to spend the same amount of money on wine this year (66%) as they usually would, but about a fourth indicated they will spend less.

This is likely because of job loss due to the pandemic. Those who say they’ll spend less are more than twice as likely to be not working right now than those who will spend more. Those who plan to spend more are much more likely to be remote workers. 

Interestingly, parents are more likely than their counterparts to say they’ll spend more on wine this year. Correlation is not causation, but remote learning and pandemic parenting has surely led moms and dads to look for ways to relax and unwind.

Overall, though, Americans aged 21 to 24 are the most likely to be buying more wine this holiday than usual, followed by the 25 to 44 cohort.

Wine for Entertaining 

To distinguish between gifting wine and wine for personal entertainment purposes, we split this analysis into two parts.  

The majority of holiday wine buyers plan to spend under $150 this season for entertaining purposes.

Another survey found that red wine is the winning choice for holiday meals by quite a large margin. Adults 21+ who serve or plan to serve wine this year are twice as likely to serve red over white wine.

While certain wines may seemingly be preferred by one gender, it’s clear that rosé is just as likely to be served by men and women. Men prefer to serve red a bit more than women, but women only prefer white wine slightly more than men do. 

Those who intend to serve red with their holiday meals this year are also planning to spend higher amounts on wine. In fact, the ‘red wine’ group is twice as likely to spend $250 or more on their wine stock than white or sparkling wine consumers. However, fans of sweet or dessert wine are slightly more likely to spend upwards of $250 as well.

Wine and Holiday Travel

Red, white, and rosé drinkers are all the most likely to still travel this year (among usual holiday travelers) while those serving sparkling wine are the least likely to.

Gifting Wine

About one third of Americans 21+ say they’re at least ‘somewhat’ likely (34%) to give someone wine this holiday.

There is not too much of a difference in the amount of money people plan to spend on wine gifts and wine for entertainment. However, wine gift-givers are slightly more likely to spend $250 or more.

The most likely wine gift-givers are also the most likely to be still traveling for the holidays this year despite the coronavirus pandemic. 

Online Wine Sees Small Boost 

Adoption of online wine purchasing grew only slightly since Q2 2020, which is surprising. In general, online shopping has been more popular than stores for many other items across verticals, but overall, the general population isn’t too attached to the convenience.

However, the data reveal that once people are all-in with online wine, they will spend more. Online wine adopters and intenders are more likely than the general population to spend more than $250 or more on wine for entertainment this year. While this does not come as a surprise, since they are likely the most frequent wine drinkers, it certainly is telling that ease of purchase (and likely shop or wine brand loyalty) can lead to spending a bit more cash.

Further data does prove that online wine is for serious wine drinkers. Online wine adopters and intenders over-index in drinking wine several times a week.

You know who also drinks wine a bit more often in general? Parents. In fact, data from August 1 and onward show that parents are twice as likely as non-parents to drink wine several times a week.

Regardless of what’s going on in the world at large, it’s clear that wine will still have a seat at the table this holiday. Whether it will be brought to family and friends by travelers, or just enjoyed at home, most wine buyers are business as usual this year.