Wine & Lockdown: a Happy Combination?

By Pierrick Jegu

Has France’s relationship to wine changed during lockdown? Contrary to popular belief, statistics suggest not. But the concept of wine as a source of pleasure has become much more predominant! Let’s take a closer look. 

Wine & lockdown: a happy combination?

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It is true that they often live far away from cities, but who better to learn about wine consumption in France than from winegrowers themselves ? Everyone agrees that, as a result of the health measures, the restaurant wine market has collapsed since March 2020.  

Consumption at home has remained stable 

Thankfully, wine merchants are surviving. Compared with 2019, some of them have even experienced an increase in turnover at times. This shows that wine amateurs did not throw away their bottle openers during the Covid crisis, nor did they drown their sorrows in fermented grape juice! In November 2020, a study conducted by Ifop for the French association Vin & Société found that 76% of French consider their wine consumption at home to have remained unchanged during the two lockdowns. During the second lockdown, 16% of the people questioned said that their consumption had dropped, while 7% said that they were drinking more. So there seems to be a mix of reason and emotion. 

Wine? A source of pleasure! 

The days when wine was seen as part of one’s daily diet, with a bottle always on the table beside the salt and pepper, are well and truly over. Statistics and studies have been clear for many years: wine is now considered a treat, and drunk less often than before. Since the start of the Covid crisis, the French seem to be even more keen on the idea of “drinking less, but better”! Again according to the Ifop study for Vin & Société, “62% of French believe that during lockdown, it is important to continue enjoying life (for example by getting together for nice meals with a decent bottle of wine)”. This figure rose to 81% among wine amateurs. And it is not a matter of drinking by habit or out of boredom! Increasingly considered a source of socializing and conviviality, be it for pre-dinner drinks, lunch or dinner, wine seems to be a positive “safe haven” for the French. Moreover, the Ifop study suggests that a large number of under-35-year-olds even used the lockdowns to learn more about the wine industry. What has it been like for you ? 


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