Wine o’clock habits

As Dry January heads into it’s final week-end here is some research that Alcohol Concern shared in December.

The YouGov survey of more than 2,000 GB adults reveals women’s wine o’clock starts after the clock strikes 5pm (93%). However, it’s men who are more likely to drink every day and those that drink also tend to start earlier in the day. The survey results show that when drinking, a number of men are having their first alcoholic drink at lunchtime -12% of men surveyed have their first drink before 4pm with 4% of these starting around 1pm.

Of those surveyed who drink alcohol in an average week:

  • 10% men have their first drink between 1pm-4pm
  • 6% women have their first drink between 1pm-4pm 
  • 71% of men have their first drink between 5pm-8pm 
  • 82% of women have their first drink between 5pm-8pm

Throughout Great Britain, of those that drink alcohol in an average week, one in ten have their first drink around 4pm or earlier.

The survey also revealed the booziest regions, with more people starting wine o’clock at 1pm in London and the South East when drinking. In the East and West Midlands more people start drinking earlier in the day, having their first drink at 4pm or earlier, but it’s the North East who have the booziest evenings with 84% of people who have their first drink between 5pm-8pm.

I wonder if those drinking between 1pm and 4pm are topping up from the previous night, particularly if they’re drinking every day.  Just a thought.


9 thoughts on “Wine o’clock habits

  1. Just been looking up origins of the phrase ‘sun over the yard arm’ which I think I knew was naval in origin – and indeed it stems from the sun being at a certain height over a horizontal mast of a sailing ship, when the first rum ration of the day was issued. And I’d always assumed this was 1pm, or maybe noon? But no – it’s ELEVEN AM.

    Had not really occurred to me before how telling it is that we need a socially acceptable time marker for when it’s ok to drink alcohol. Can’t think of any other consumed substance that applies to (except maybe no cheese before bedtime!) just shows what parameters we build in an effort to control and confine, even to normalise alcohol dependence. And yes expect those lunchtime drinkers are indeed topping up from the day before, just like those bygone not-so-jolly sailors.. Xx

    1. You are a mine of information Prim!! The topping up insight comes from personal experience – my Dad had his first can of Special Brew at lunchtime. I wonder if the good old bloody mary’s function is something similar too – you know one of those acceptable lunchtime boozer drinks & was always my favoured hair of the dog remedy 🙁

      1. I loathe tomato juice myself so Bloody Mary held/holds no appeal for me! Nice hot bowl of Heinz tomato soup with fingers of cheese on toast, on the other hand – mmmm, is it lunchtime yet?! Xxx

  2. Hi Lucy!
    I never drank during the day until I retired.
    Then I was trying to fill time.
    Prim had a great point about having to have an acceptable drinking time for alcohol, whereas we don’t need one for ice cream!
    Oh wait, hubs and I can only have ice cream on the weekends. After 5!

    1. Hey Wendy I only drank during the day during high days and holidays as somehow then it was ok! I don’t struggle with ice-cream quite so much 😉 xx

      1. Just one more thing.
        Of course, as a teacher, if I could get away from school as soon as I could I would start at 4.
        NEVER again.
        Oh, and I did drink during days on some holidays, too.
        How conveniently I forgot that!

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