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What wines are UK consumers choosing to buy?

A survey conducted by online wine retailers Corks Out looking at wine trends and habits shines a light on how UK consumers are choosing to buy wine right now

Ruth Yates, founder, Corks Out

Wine buying habits and trends change and adapt each and every year, so just how are the British choosing their tipple right now? Corks Out research reveals a number of interesting British wine trends, providing an insight into how we choose, purchase and consume wine.

Wine producers favoured by UK consumers

There were 432 active vineyards across England and Wales in 2013, with a total of 124 wineries producing 2.58 million bottles, a steep increase from the 1.03 million produced in 2012. Indeed, this works out as around one bottle of wine for every 17 people in the UK.

Despite this increase in productivity, English/Welsh wine does not feature in the list of the wines most popular with UK consumers. Australian wine enjoys the greatest volume of sales within the UK, closely followed by Italy and France. The top five is completed by the US and Spain, showing that as much as the British love wine (with the 23rd highest wine consumption per capita on earth), they perhaps do not love British wine yet.

Common wine buying influences

So, apart from the country of origin, what else do consumers take into account when shopping for wine? In a survey of wine lovers, 41% said that they pay the most attention to grape variety, while 37% shop by price. Alcohol volume appears to still be a lesser concern, with just 10% of shoppers deliberately choosing to pick up a particular strength.

Great customer service was also mentioned as being a significant factor which could lead to a wine purchase, with branding also having a fairly substantial influence. Matching with food was perhaps not as big a consideration as may be expected, with more than half of people buying wine to drink by itself rather than with a meal.

Popular aperitifs

The most popular purchases to drink alone are Prosecco, NZ Sauvignon Blanc and Champagne, perhaps indicating that the British currently have plenty to celebrate, with sales of such special occasion tipples flourishing at present. This celebratory mood could be the cause of extra generosity when buying wine as a gift, with slightly over half of survey respondents saying they spend more on a bottle for somebody else than they do for themselves.

Finally, it has been discovered that there was almost no difference in popularity between the two most common types of wine, with white wine accounting for 45% of sales and red responsible for 43% The remaining 12% was taken up by rosé, less popular than the other more traditional wines but still making up a fairly substantial part of the market.

To present this research in an even more creative way, the Corks Out team has created an infographic to display British wine trends in a visual way.

24 January 2014