Why Trusting Wine Reviews From Minors Isn’t Smart
I’m fully aware of the need of scientists and researchers to confirm what appears obvious to most people. We do it to give objective confirmation to our well honed intuition and to understand the degree to which observable phenomena are being observed correctly. Still, I always get a bit of feeling of “I Told You So” when I see a result of a study that teaches us what I already know.
I’m talking about the claim that I and many others have made over and over and over: Wine is not the choice of underage drinkers.
A recent study conducted by the Boston University School of Public Health sought to determine what drinks minors most often consumed. Guess what they found.
“Of the top 25 consumed brands (by minors), 12 were spirits brands (including four vodkas), nine were beers, and four were flavored alcohol beverages.”
No wine in that top 25. Though I’ve not read the entire study to see all of the brands mentioned by minors, I’d be willing to bet that 750ml bottles of wine make up a teeny weenie (It’s an academic term) percentage of the products named as the having been consumed by minors in the study. It might be that jug or box wines or wine coolers (are they still for sale?) were named, but likely also make up a very small percentage of the products consumed by minors.
The drink of choice by minors, according to the study, was—as we all knew—beer and spirits
Top 10 Brand Reported Use in Previous 30 Days Among Underage Youth
1. Bud Light 27.9%
2. Smirnoff Malt Beverages 17.0%
3. Budweiser 14.6%
4. Smirnoff Vodkas 12.7%
5. Coors Light 12.7%
6. Jack Daniel’s Bourbons 11.4%
7. Corona Extra 11.3%
8. Mike’s 10.8%
9. Captain Morgan Rums 10.4%
10. Absolut Vodkas 10.1%
What do all these brands of alcohol have in common? They are relatively inexpensive on a per drink basis.
For many years proponents of direct to consumer wine shipping have witnessed the claim that by allowing direct to consumer shipping, minors will take advantage of the channel and have wine after wine after wine shipped to their front door and we stared back at the claim and the people making them wide-eyed and bewildered. We wondered if the adult making the claim had ever been a minor or has any access to information about the motivations of minors.
All that said, we can also determine that minors have relatively poor taste when it comes to alcohol. But we could have predicted this too….After all, almost all of us were minors at one point ourselves.