Wine is gaining on beer

Anyone who watches the ads during the Super Bowl – and in all seriousness, who doesn’t? – wouldn’t be wrong to assume beer is the one and only beverage consumed during the big game. But in reality, those ads might serve a more important purpose for big beer, helping to defend its once secure position as drink of choice among football fans. Because wine is taking over.

What used to be seen as a beverage for fine dining and dinner parties has recently become ever-present at sporting events as well. Sports venues across the country have added serious wine selections to their offerings – with the suites at Levi’s Stadium where this year’s Super Bowl is being held offering over 60 different high end bottles.

This democratization of wine — driven by the changing drinking preferences of Millennial consumers, who more often choose wine over beer when they’re socializing, and the fact that the NFL has become much better at attracting female fans — is changing drinking habits at Super Bowl parties across America. And it’s happening quickly. According to Nielsen, Super Bowl game day wine sales are growing much faster than beer sales.

During the regular season, N.F.L. fans still favor beer over wine by a big margin. But as the playoffs begin and more people throw viewing parties that include more women, spending on wine increases. Women make up about 46 percent of the people who watch the Super Bowl, versus about 33 percent during the regular season, Nielsen said.

And it’s not just the fans who love wine, the players are also becoming major proponents. Earlier this year Vikings Cornerback Terence Newman – one of the oldest players in the league at 37 – credited his longevity and success to red wine consumption. “Red wine is the key,” Newman famously said, “Get it in your veins, baby. Keeps you strong.”

We can’t argue with that.