A few weeks ago a Master of Wine shared with me that he stopped drinking wine for three months while in lockdown during COVID. He lives alone and recognized that, if he opened a bottle of wine intending to drink just one glass, he’d end up drinking the entire bottle by himself by the end of the evening. He loves wine (after all, he’s one of less than 400 MWs, or Masters of Wine, in the world) yet during COVID, alcohol had become something he rejected rather than embraced, albeit temporarily, for the sake of his own health.
There are several implications within those few sentences to unpack. The challenges of alcohol moderation, for example, for even the most highly-aware beverage professionals. Also the relationship, both real and perceived, between alcohol and health. And the tangle of living conditions during COVID that complicate our consumption and enjoyment of wine.
As we continue to move toward re-opening restaurants and other hospitality venues, it’s an opportune moment to unpack those implications, and others, a bit further. Here are some observations to consider about the evolving impact of COVID on alcohol consumption by consumers.
Man pouring red wine in glass during dinner party at home
The Roller Coaster Factor
It’s well-documented that anxiety and depression contribute to increased drinking during the pandemic, particularly for people over the age of 40 and for women more than men…