After watching the Rugby World Cup final yesterday (we were robbed!) with a little more wine than was entirely sensible it seemed we were the middle class drinking problem. A collection of gainfully employed people, full time parents and full time students we were ‘swilling’ back plenty of booze. The average bottle price hovered around £8 as we were saving the Champagne and Bordeaux to celebrate our victory.
Depending on who you believe, 14-26 % of middle class adults in the UK drink at a dangerous level. That dangerous level is can be tipped into by having a glass of wine with dinner each night and going mad with a small sherry whilst cooking at the weekend. The dangerous level is well beneath average consumption in Italy and France.
Drinking is a problem in the UK, and there are thousands of people drinking themselves towards miserable deaths in leafy suburbs, but I suspect that the current focus on people drinking wine with dinner is just a little silly whilst corner stores are selling cheap and nasty alcohol to underage drinkers who drink solely to get drunk, pubs are selling more booze to people too drunk to speak and manufacturers are coming up with stronger, cheaper brands to push in low income neighbourhoods.