Most Gen Z prefers drinking at home to going out


Could drinking at home become the new going out? Recent research indicates that six in 10 (66%) Gen Z wine enthusiasts opt for the comfort of their homes when it comes to drinking.

A survey conducted among 2,000 U.S. adults aged 21–26 found that of those who enjoy wine, only 23% would choose a bar setting, and 18% would opt for an event.

Rather, for Gen Z wine enthusiasts, having a glass is an opportunity to be social, as hanging out with friends (64%) topped the list of activities they prefer to partake in while drinking, while 46% enjoy a glass on a date.

Results also showed that those who drink wine would prefer to drink with friends (72%), above their partner (49%).

On their own, 46% of those who enjoy wine also enjoy a nice drink with their meal compared to just 37% of respondents who have a different alcohol preference.

What inspires Gen Z to raise a glass? Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Unshackled Wines, the survey found that nearly half (48%) of those who drink wine do so for the sheer joy of having fun, while 47% drink wine to relax and unwind.

While much of Gen Z enjoys sipping a glass of wine, some prefer to reach for other options.

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Gen Z prefers to drink their wine at home.

When asked why they don’t drink wine, don’t like the taste was the top reason (27%), while others reported finding wine menus (15%) or tasting notes (13%) to be confusing or intimidating.

Knowledge gaps may also be to blame for Gen Z’s hesitancy toward wine. Survey results reveal that they are most knowledgeable about vodka (38%) and tequila (37%), while fewer respondents feel well-versed in still wine (29%) and sparkling wine (19%).

64% of Gen Z likes to hang out with their friends while drinking.

You won’t often hear Gen Z critique others based on wine preferences, though. Only 30% stated that they would form an opinion about someone based on their knowledge of wine.

Pouring wine into a plastic cup or a mason jar? That’s no problem either, as only 28% would judge someone based on their choice of drinkware.

Only 49% of Gen Z prefer drinking with their partner.

However, not everyone holds the same open-minded attitude — 44% of those surveyed have experienced feeling judged about their choice of wine, with a higher percentage among men compared to women (56% vs. 41%).

“There’s no reason to feel apprehensive when selecting a bottle of wine,” said Bukky Ekundayo, general manager of Unshackled Wines. “When deciding between red, white, rose or sparkling wine, allow the occasion to guide your selection, as our study shows Gen Z wine drinkers primarily select wine based on their mood and the activity (27%). Or simply start with what you know — 21% of Gen Z select wines based on their go-to favorites.” 

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44% of the survey has felt judged for their choice in wine. Getty Images

When considering what influences Gen Z to try a new wine, the most significant factor is recommendations from friends and family, which influences 39% of them.

The price point is the second most influential factor, affecting 17%. Lastly, interesting labels or packaging sway 12% to try a new wine.

When thinking of wine drinkers, 39% said parents come to mind, more so than wealthy individuals (31%), businesspeople (27%) or celebrities/influencers (26%).

When trying new wine, Gen Z likes to take recommendations from friends and family.

“Although hearing ‘wine drinkers’ may lead Gen Z to think of their parents, there’s been a generational shift in their perception of wine,” Ekundayo added. “It’s no longer something reserved for special occasions or even certain individuals, but rather a bottle all can reach for, whether unwinding with friends or on a date night. Gen Z is ushering in a new sense of approachability that we hope continues to build so more people feel comfortable uncorking a bottle of wine.”

WHERE DOES GEN Z PREFER TO DRINK WINE?

  • At home – 68%
  • At a restaurant – 45%
  • At a friend’s home – 38%
  • At a bar – 34%
  • At the beach – 16%
  • By the pool – 16%
  • At a concert – 10%
  • At a vineyard – 10%
  • At a brewery or distillery – 6%
  • At a show (comedy/theater) – 5%
  • On a plane – 4%
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