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exploring wine with tim fish

What You Drink May Reveal How You Vote

Research suggests Republican and Democrat voters have different tastes when it comes to wine and spirits
Photo by: David Yellen

Posted: Jan 8, 2014 3:00pm ET

If you drink Robert Mondavi wines and Jim Beam Bourbon, you probably vote Republican. If you prefer Moët & Chandon and Courvoisier Cognac, chances are you're a Democrat.

Who knew that you were making a political statement every time you reached for a bottle of wine or spirits? Consumer data supplied by research group GFK MRI and analyzed by National Media Research Planning and Placement suggests that what you drink says a lot about how you vote.

How much truth you want to read into this, I'll leave to you. I take it with a big grain of salt, but it's fun to kick the results around just the same.

When it comes to domestic wines, devoted Republican voters also tend to drink Kendall-Jackson, Beringer, Fish Eye and Sterling wines. Loyal Democrat voters choose Smoking Loon, Chateau Ste. Michelle, Glen Ellen and Sutter Home.

You'll notice that these are all relatively big, relatively inexpensive brands. I don't think Screaming Eagle or Château Pétrus factored into the equation, in case the big spenders out there are wondering.

There are some other interesting results to be culled. Republicans tend to like their liquor brown: Wild Turkey, Maker's Mark, Crown Royal and Canadian Club. Not entirely surprising, perhaps. If you spend enough time in the conservative-leaning South, for example, you can't help but develop a taste for Bourbon or whisky.

While Democrats have a thing for Courvoisier Cognac, they generally prefer the clear stuff: Grey Goose vodka, Bombay Sapphire and Tanqueray gins. My teenage son had a good quip when he heard this, pondering the question: "Is your vodka grass-fed?"

Rum is the great uniter. Both sides of the political spectrum love it, particularly Bacardi, Captain Morgan Spiced and Malibu Coconut. And no matter what your political leanings, if you drink Jägermeister or Don Julio tequila, you rarely vote at all. (That could be the "let's have another shot, dude" youth factor.)

I reached out to a few of the wineries mentioned in the study and, not surprisingly, most wouldn't touch the topic with a 10-foot wine thief.

Sparkling wine producer Korbel declined comment, but the fact that its wines were situated safely in the political middle makes sense when you consider it has been served at every presidential inauguration since 1985, both Democrat and Republican.

While vintner Don Sebastiani doesn't read a lot into these types of reports, as a faithful Republican he admitted to having mixed feelings that his brand Smoking Loon tops the list with high-turnout Democratic voters. "From a business standpoint I'm thrilled," the former California State Assemblyman said. "From a political standpoint I'm disappointed."

Perhaps the most fascinating detail was something the Washington Post pointed out in its analysis. Wine drinkers vote more frequently than spirits drinkers. Among the most-likely voters, 14 of the top 15 brands are wine, not spirits.

It seems like wine drinkers are as devoted to democracy as they are the fruit of the vine.

Click on the chart below to expand.

Courtesy of Jennifer Dube

Greg Dunbar
Seattle, WA —  January 8, 2014 6:35pm ET
Yes, a BIG grain of salt, but still kind of fun to kick the results around.
Tim Fish
Sonoma County —  January 8, 2014 8:40pm ET
Agreed Greg, but still good conversation anyway. Cheers.
Mia Malm
Napa, CA —  January 9, 2014 1:03pm ET
Speaking of grass-fed vodka...I like that Russian and/or Polish vodka with the Bison grass in it. I guess it is grass fed! Does it make me a socialist??? ;-)
Aaron Wolf
New Jersey —  January 10, 2014 6:23pm ET
Which wines and spirits would a person that doesn't vote prefer?
Tim Fish
Sonoma County —  January 10, 2014 7:40pm ET
Good point Aaron
Annemarie Marti
Valparaiso, IN —  January 12, 2014 11:53am ET
Hmmmm. I like Mondavi and Smoking Loon. I also like a good bourbon and I like Bombay Sapphire in my martini. Guess that shows why I am an independent voter! I'm all over the place.
This was a fun read. Thanks
Ted Wilson
Paradise, PA —  February 17, 2014 11:02am ET
Again, "proof" of the flawed pretense of political pigeonholing and polling. I'm all over this chart, but mostly off the chart(s).

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