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Wine Proves More Recession-Proof Than Beer

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Conventional wisdom holds that during tough times, when the belt tightening really kicks in, the downsized, laid off and generally dispossessed choose beer over wine. On the surface it makes sense; beer is cheaper than wine. Period. Case closed. Ah statistics, though. Surprisingly, a look at the data tells otherwise.

According to data from Bloomberg, during the 2001 recession beer expenditures fell by 6.6 percent from May 2001 to January 2002 while wine expenditures actually increased 3.5 percent. Incredibly, or not depending on your affinity for the vineyards divinity, spending on wine outpaced even real personal spending, which gained 2 percent, according to Bloomberg.

Perhaps it was just a fluke, a one-time aberration, the exception that proves the rule? Well, the same thing happened again in 2008. Real beer expenditures fell nearly 5.5 percent while wine expenditures barely declined at all.

Bloomberg economist Michael McDonough theorizes that the buoyancy of wine over beer (is that, like, a pun?) has to do with education. Citing a 2006 Danish study, McDonough notes that wine drinkers tend to be more educated than beer drinkers. As a beer drinker, I say he ain't got no idea what he's talking about, but that's just me; studies is studies. McDonough notes that the educated have fared far better in recent recession than the uneducated, which does not explain how I have kept my job but, look, I'm not complaining. Perhaps it's because I sometimes use fancy words in blog posts, words like "buoyancy."
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