Back in the old days when blush zinfandel was known as rosé and Liebfraumilch was a top choice of debonair sophisticates, the American drinking public seemed more inclined to opt for beer or liquor than for fine wines.
That has all changed, of course. Wine is much more popular. And now it’s possible that a shift in wine consumption habits is underway.
Today’s hearty trencherman may be as much in the mood to order a glass of wine in a family dining restaurant as in a bar or nightclub --- or so suggests a new report from Restaurant Sciences LLC, a Newton firm that tracks and analyzes sales data for restaurant and food-service clients.
According to the firm’s report, on-premise wine sales fell 2.6 percent from May to October when compared with the same time frame in 2012.
However, one segment of this category --- so-called quick service restaurants --- bucked this trend and showed growth. In compiling its report, Restaurant Sciences said it analyzed more than $1.2 billion in wine sales in restaurants, bars, nightclubs, and other food-service establishments.
“Despite growth in several categories, overall wine sales fell because bars and nightclubs sold 17.7 percent less wine from May to October 2013 than the previous year,” Chuck Ellis, president and chief executive of Restaurant Sciences LLC, said in a statement. “On a positive note, wine sales in quick service restaurants grew 10.2 percent over this same period. With an estimated 12 percent of 30,000 fast casual locations distributing wine, this segment provides ample opportunity for expansion, and we expect the wine industry to take notice.”