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The Communal Wine Consumption Experience: Sharing, Rituals, & Socialization

Journal of Wine Research

Background to this Special Issue

“Socially embedded practices and feelings can be the most powerful of all.” (Muniz & O’Guinn, 2001, p.428)

The communal consumption experience is not a new phenomenon. In fact, from an anthropological perspective, this behavior originally developed out of hunter-gatherer and tribal eras where resources that were harder to get and less certain to be acquired were more likely to be shared communally (Kameda, Takezawa, & Hastie, 2003). Thus, shared consumption was initially a function of survival.

As civilization evolved, this practice expanded to include motivations related to both survival and sociality. As such, a vast array of different communities throughout time have placed great significance on communal consumption experiences revolving around occasions of drinking, eating, and gift giving as a part of their celebrations, rituals, and traditions (Muniz & O’Guinn, 2001).

In modern society, we typically find that communal consumption is now predominately a function of socialization. What’s the one thing you consistently see on the dinner table at any conference or wedding? Of course, a bottle of wine. Communal interactions like sharing a bottle of wine with others are found to provide wide social benefits for individuals. For example, social interactions with both strong ties (friends & family) and weak ties (co-workers & acquaintances) are associated with enhanced affective responses, as well as greater social and emotional well-being, happiness and feelings of belongingness (Sandstrom & Dunn, 2014).

More specifically to the context of social wine consumption, while many aspects of this communal experience have undoubtedly remained consistent throughout time, the way in which we partake or share in this social consumption experience has changed dramatically in contemporary periods. Communal consumption of wine can be tied to a purely social experience like dinner with friends, or it can be elevated to a central element to hedonic consumption when we cling glasses to celebrate an occasion.

Yet, considering the prevalence of market-based and social activities revolving around social wine consumption, and the deeply ritualistic experience of communal wine consumption, we still know relatively little about this phenomenon. When contemplating the sheer size of the global wine industry and how culturally universal shared wine consumption is, it is surprising that such a knowledge gap exists.

Thus, this special issue of the Journal of Wine Research seeks to further investigate this shared consumption phenomenon. In particular, we seek research that asks questions such as: (1) What factors lead individuals to consume wine in groups? (2) How and why do individuals exhibit specific social wine consumption behaviors? (3) What is the impact of communal wine consumption on individual-level psychological states and/or industry performance? (4) How and why is the ritualization of wine consumption unique and meaningful? Papers emphasizing the social psychology behind communal consumption are encouraged, as are papers that explore the anthropological nature of sharing rituals and traditions.

Additional possible topics for this special issue may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Communal Consumption / Social Consumption
  • Group Sharing / Sharing Experiences
  • Shared Rituals & Traditions
  • Recounting of Consumption Stories
  • Consumption Practices
  • Self-Regulation in Consumption & Sharing
  • Prosocial Consumption
  • Overconsumption & Hoarding Behaviors
  • Consumption Occasions (Hedonic v. Utilitarian; etc.)

Submission guidelines

All papers should be submitted online via the ScholarOne Manuscripts submission system. Please read the guide for ScholarOne authors before making a submission. Complete guidelines for preparing and submitting your manuscript to this journal can be found here.

Deadline for Submissions: February 1, 2020

For questions regarding the content of this special issue, please contact the guest co-editors:

Dr. Brittney C. Bauer, Loyola University New Orleans


Dr. Adam J. Mills, Loyola University New Orleans


When you are ready, you can submit your paper via the link below.

Submit a Manuscript


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