A Quarter After Wine: When is Wine O’Clock


Ahhh, wine o’ clock.

That magical hour (or hours) most of us look forward to after a stressful, tiring day, or for days when nothing is going right. And whether it’s official or not, wine o’ clock is a real thing.

Defining Wine o’ Clock

Wine O'Clock BodyLast 2015, “wine o’clock” was officially added to the Oxford English Dictionary, to the cheers of many moms and wine lovers around the world. It’s official definition is “the appropriate time of day to start drinking wine.” It didn’t mention a specific time, since  most of us know, it’s a fluid moment. It is often changing depending on the drinker’s mood, circumstances, and possibly how near or easy it is for them to get a hold of a bottle.

For us wine lovers, wine o’clock can be any time of day, while for others, it’s that time of day when all chores and errands have been taken care of and it’s okay to take a break by unscrewing the cork.

A new company is helping with this confusion by pinpointing the exact time for wine o’clock.

Time’s and Bottoms Up

Enolytics, a firm specialising in wine industry big data and analytics, pulled data from Hello Vino (an app that helps users shop for wines and track their drinking) to determine the most common time for ‘wine o’clock’ for the average person in the US (i.e., what time they are likely to pour themselves a glass or two).

With about 2.06 million pieces of user-generated data analysed, Enolytics determined that the peak wine o’clock for most Americans is 6:30pm.

Results show that wine o’clock begins around 4:45pm and ends at 9pm local time, with peaks between 6pm-6:45pm.

If you’re pouring yourself a glass before or after those times, then you’re keeping the spirit of wine o’clock alive. For research purposes, the firm defended the time period as “the window of time which wine consumers are most frequently engaging with, and most interested in, wine.”

The Point of the Time

If wine o’clock is supposed to be fluid, fleeting, and dependent on the person’s mood, what’s the point of pinpointing an exact time? For wine lovers, it’s a fun fact. It’s a great piece of information to impress friends you’re having over for dinner, or as a rebuttal when someone tells you it’s too early to be pouring yourself a glass.

For wine businesses, though, wine o’clock becomes a promotion and marketing tool.

Marketers can use the information to kick their communication and marketing strategies into action or over drive. Retailers can schedule their wine tastings, events, and even sales during that time. For distributors, it could be the best time to call on accounts, and so on. It’s a multi-faceted benefit, and one that trickles down, provided businesses use the information to their advantage.

UK Wine Time

On the other side of the Atlantic, another company analysed internet data to pin down wine o’clock in the UK.

Wine O'Clock BodyOnline wine retailer Laithwaite found that the most popular time Britons buy or talk about wines on their blogs, social media accounts, chat forums, and news site was at 6pm, a little earlier than Americans.

Mentions peak on Tuesdays, which suggests that Britons look forward to having a glass earlier in the week.

Moreover, it’s the ladies, not the gents, who are more likely to reach for the corkscrew when the clock strikes wine o’clock. Women are also more likely to talk about their love for vino, accounting for two-thirds of the online chatter around wine o’clock.

Laithwaite regularly sees its highest spikes in online wine orders at this time as well. Mobile and tablet sales for the store see a more than 100% increase from 6pm onwards, which is the time most people get off work.

Londoners are the most likely group to observe wine o’clock, followed by Manchester, Birmingham, Cardiff, and Glasgow.

Another survey by UK charity group Alcohol Concern shows the wine o’clock trends in Britain. In that survey of over 2,000 British adults, it found that most women’s (93%) wine o’clock starts at 5pm.

The said survey, however, tells another story about wine drinkers, as it’s the men who are more likely have a glass every day. The gents are also tend to start earlier in the day: 12% of the male respondents say they have their first drink before 4pm, while another 4% pour themselves a glass around 1pm.


Other findings:

  • 10% of the male respondents have their first drink between 1pm-4pm, while it’s 6% for the women in the same time frame.

  • 71% of men have their first drink between 5pm-8pm, while it’s 82% for the latest over the same period.

Of the UK people  who drink alcohol  in an average week, one in ten have their first sip around 4pm or earlier.

Whatever time you open the bottle, the important thing is to enjoy your drink. If you ever need professional wine storage services for you or your organisation’s wine portfolio, Singapore Wine Vault is the name to trust.

Our modern wine vaults are perfect for storing your precious wines to keep them in top quality. We’ll keep them safe until you’re ready to open them, be it at wine o’clock or not.