Survey says? Come as you are!

Remember the old days when ordering a bottle of wine filled you with dread? Back when a tuxedoed waiter would look down his nose and shudder at you for ordering a dry white with your ribeye. Or a bold red with your whitefish? Well, drink up! Those days are gone, my friend.

A recent survey finds 90% of Americans care more about drinking what they like over what's 'right.' In the survey, 2,000 people – aged 21 and over, naturally – were asked about their wine preferences and pairing knowledge. And while many responded the quarantine has made them more familiar with wine (some nights a little too familiar, maybe?), nine out of 10 respondents said they are more interested in the flavor than the traditional wine pairing rules.

Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of the Idaho Wine Commission, the survey shows pairing wine is now more about the occasion than the food. And for most of us these days, that means sitting at home staring into our screens. The results prove it: today, 63% are more inclined to pair what they're drinking with what they're watching. But it wouldn't be wine without a few rules. And some very specific trends have formed around our watching habits.

For example, respondents shared they opt for a white when watching a sitcom (43%) but they turn to a red when sitting down to watch a reality show or a drama – at 42% and 39%, respectively. The perfect wine pairing was more of a toss-up when watching docu-series – with 30% opting for a red, 22% preferring a white and 21% grabbing a rosé. An even closer tie between red and white was when respondents watch the news (34% in favor of a white and 32% for a white) or an adult animation (both red and white at 24%).

All this proves another thing about the quarantined life; we've all had a lot more time on our hands to fill (and a lot more glasses too). The survey analyzed respondents’ quarantine habits and found that 84% said this time allowed them to reconnect with themselves and learn new skills. In return, we've become more sophisticated about ourselves and the world around us.

Some of these newfound sophisticated habits include watching a documentary, cooking the perfect steak dinner and buying a nice bottle of wine they normally wouldn’t purchase. One in five respondents also kicked their new-found sophistication off by purchasing a nice turtleneck sweater and making their own charcuterie board.

However, all this branching out has left some with a conundrum. A quarter of respondents admitted they've grown bored with their go-to bottle. And the label is to blame! An alarmingly high 68% of those polled said they can never remember the names of wines they like, so they just go with a label they recognize. Seventy-seven percent of respondents said they also judge a wine based on its label when they do leave their comfort zones and try something new. So, if you're in a rut, choosing unfamiliar labels is one way to dig your way out.

One finding that was familiar in a good way is something most of us already knew; wine brings people closer together. Eighty-one percent of respondents agreed there’s nothing better than bonding with someone over a bottle of wine – whether in-person or virtually. A third of respondents even hosted a virtual wine-and-cheese night as well as had a romantic date night with their significant other. If you're looking for some at-home, date-night inspiration, check out this post from last month.

By and large, the survey shows that quarantine has left many of us better off than it found us. In fact, a full 69% said taking more time for self-care has left them feeling like a new person. And three-quarters of those surveyed shared that finding the perfect glass of wine to drink is often therapeutic for them.

Breaking the rules will do that for a person.

Final IWC Infographic

Come as you are

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