The traditional drink of the UK used to be beer, but now more and more people are drinking wine, according to the Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA). A poll recently commissioned by the WSTA showed than ow 60% of the UK’s adults are wine drinkers and wine is the most popular alcoholic beverage. On average it is estimated that there are more than 30 million regular wine drinkers across the country. In the 25 – 34-year-old bracket,it is their favourite drink.
Consumers prefer white wine and sparkling wines such as Prosecco are growing in popularity. This must be good news for British vineyards. The main grape varieties grown in the UK are Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Did you know that there are more than 400 vineyards in England and just over 20 in Wales? The climate in Scotland isn’t conducive to grape growing. The USA tops the wine consumers’ polls, followed by France, Italy, Germany and China, with the UK coming in sixth place.
In the US, at least, 20% of people are going out to eat more than they did in the past, and they are spending more on average than they did in the past. A survey has shown that 24% of diners are spending more on wine than they did in previous years.
In the US, wine drinkers spent 4.4% more on wine bought in stores than they did in 2016. Beer sale are falling, but spirits are still popular. Wine drinkers have resisted price increases on their favourite brands, and wine producers have realised that it’s easier to bring a new, more expensive, wine onto the market than to raise the price of well-established wines.
When it is served by the glass in restaurants, more people will buy it, a survey showed. The bottles with screw tops are ideal for pouring it by the glass, and, it seems, that sommeliers are quite happy to serve wine from them. Rather than have a cork stuffed back in a bottle, a screw cap bottle which holds a glass of wine, ensures the it is fresh and not turning to vinegar.
Diners want their wine to complement their food, which is also good news for sommeliers. They are unlikely to be out of a job just yet! The US Wine Market Council conducted a survey which showed that 64% of regular wine drinkers are more likely to order wine with Italian meals. 56% of respondents said that they usually order wine in a steakhouse. Diners tend to choose refreshing wines, such as sparkling ones and light reds. Of course, these also go well with food.
In the US, at least, wine drinkers are buying more wine in cans than they did a year ago. Cans can be consumed in public places, such as beaches, where glass bottles aren’t allowed. However, wine in a can is not very popular in the UK (at least, not yet).
The wine market is changing with the times, so who knows what will be popular next year?