Say what? Europe is known as a continent full of enlightened sophisticates who enjoy socialized health care, responsible consumption of fine vintages of wine and long walks along the Seine and the Danube. Still mostly true, but part of that image may be due for a change, according to a survey commissioned by the Wall Street Journal:
Europeans are supposed to sip wine in sidewalk cafés, not guzzle beer like American college students.
But Europe's relationship with alcohol is changing. Countries like France and Italy, where good wine is considered a birthright, are seeing a surge in beer drinking among young people. In many countries, the traditional glass or two at mealtimes is giving way to a new culture of binge drinking.
To study the issue, the Wall Street Journal asked market-research firm GfK to poll Europeans about their drinking habits. In 13 European Union countries, plus the U.S., Russia, Turkey and Switzerland, GfK asked more than 17,000 people to describe how often they drink, what they drink and how alcohol affects their lives. Many of the results were surprising. (Read the rest here...)
While this seems like an incredibly silly, inaccurate survey in which many of the participants are obviously lying (53% of Italians don't drink at all, really?), it does make for an interesting read. A surprising trend of younger Euro's preferring beer over wine clearly emerges, and (coincidentally?) binge drinking seems to be becoming more prevalent among that set as well. I'm not sure what exactly can be gleaned from all this, but it's worth a quick look.