British love affair with sparkling wine set to continue, claims report

05 February, 2013

The UK will leapfrog Germany to become the world's leading importer of sparkling wine by 2016, according to a new report by Vinexpo.

The organisation analysed trends over the past five years to predict what the global wine market will look like three years from now. It decided UK drinkers will consume 10.56 million 9-litre cases of sparkling wine in 2016, a 10% rise on the 2012 figure. 
Vinexpo, which commissioned the IWSR to conduct the report, predicts the UK will drink 5.7 million bottles of English sparkling wine in 2016 - up 342% in the decade since 2007. It also revealed that the UK will remain the world's most valuable retail market for imported still wine in 2016. The imported still wine market should then be worth £7.9 billion, leaving it ahead of the USA as the world's top buyer. 
But still wine volume sales will drop in the UK, according to Vinexpo, by 4.71% between 2012 and 2016. When you factor in the rise of sparkling wine, this will equate to an overall wine volume drop of 3.66%. 
Vinexpo chief executive Robert Beynat said: "The data reveals that UK drinkers are drinking less but better. 
"The fact remains that the UK is still the world's biggest importer of wine and therefore a major force in world wine business. It is the ambition of many world winemakers to gain a foothold in the UK."
While volumes will drop by 3.66% by 2016 in the UK, Vinexpo expects volumes in China to rise by 40% and in the USA by 12%. This would leave the UK as the sixth largest country for wine consumption, behind the USA, Germany, France, Italy and China. 




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Richard Hemming MW: beware inverse snobbery

Few things can bring communal pleasure so intimately as wine. Apart from a hot tub, perhaps. Sport can trigger mass jubilation, film gives us shared empathy, but wine has a nigh-unique ability to bestow conviviality among us through a shared bottle – which makes it especially galling that we spend so much time divided over it.

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