July 29/Princeton, N.J.,/UPI -- Wine ties beer as the top alcoholic beverage choice among U.S. drinkers for only the second time in two decades, a U.S. survey indicates.

The Gallup poll of 1,016 U.S. adults -- 666 of whom drink alcohol -- found 35% say they drink wine the most often, 36% say beer and 23% say liquor.

Beer's position as Americans' favorite alcoholic drink has waned during the past two decades, and this year, it dropped from 41% to 36%, the survey found. This year's drop in beer preference was noted among all age groups but mostly among young adults -- dropping to 39% from 51% in 2010.

Middle-age adults' preference for beer fell from 44% to 41%, while older adults' preference for beer fell from 29% to 27%, the poll says.

Younger adults' decreased preference for beer is accompanied by slight increases in their preferences for liquor and wine, while 2% of young adults this year volunteered that they most often drink cordials, up from less than 1% last year.

Some 48% of male drinkers say they most often drink beer, and 26% say liquor, while 51% of female drinkers prefer wine.

The survey, conducted July 7-10, has a margin of error of four-five percentage points.

From the August 1, 2011,Prepared Foods' Daily News.