Chardonnay remains top UK choice

Chardonnay remains the most popular single varietal wine in the UK, but is declining in popularity, according to research by Wine Intelligence.

Regular wine drinkers surveyed online were more likely to pick Chardonnay as the most popular white across 10 surveys between February 2006 and April 2007. The April 2007 survey saw 35 per cent of respondents plump for Chardonnay, with Sauvignon Blanc as the second most popular choice at 16 per cent, closely followed by Pinot Grigio at 13 per cent.

Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon were the most popular reds, with 23 and 20 per cent picking them as their most frequently drunk red wines in April this year.

White wine is the most commonly bought with uptake between 82 and 89 per cent across the 10 surveys. Red wine was consistently popular with percentage scores in the low 70s. Rosé wine varied in popularity, with between 46 and 50 per cent of those surveyed.

The survey shows one in three UK consumers typically spend between £4 and £4.99 in the off-trade, with one in four spending between £3 and £3.99 and one in three spending more than £5.

Each Wine Intelligence survey gathered the views of 1,000 regular wine drinkers, with results "post-weighted" to be representative of UK wine drinkers in terms of age, gender and socio-economic groups.

lResearch undertaken by Wine Intelligence for Provence Wines shows 72 per cent of adult wine drinkers include rosé in their repertoire. For those consumers, rosé wine accounts for 20 per cent of their wine consumption. Although rosé drinking peaks in the summer, 20 per cent of those surveyed said they drink it more than once a month during the autumn and winter. Wine Intelligence found rosé annuals - those drinking the wine frequently throughout the year - had the highest average bottle spend at £6.83.