According to information from the Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA), the UK is fast turning into a nation of wine aficionados. Ideal Wine Company reviews the increased popularity of wine.
Wine has now taken over from beer as the most popular alcoholic drink in the country. People across the UK spend £108 million on wine every single week, compared with just £45 million on beer. That equates to 38 million people in the UK choosing wine – around 74 per cent of adults in the country.
This means that each wine drinker spends about £148 per year on wine. And they’re not just kicking back and relaxing with a glass at home in the evening, they’re heading out to drink too. Ten million bottles of wine are sold every month in pubs and bars across the UK.
Importing prices are rising
The country’s wine bill is constantly rising as Brexit has force import costs up until the average price of a bottle of wine reached £5.56, an all-time high.
So, despite the fact that we’re just a small island, the UK is the sixth largest market in the world. More than 1.8 billion bottles of wine are imported into the UK every year, which includes one billion from inside the European Union. Only the USA beats our £3billion per year import market, and they have five times our population.
Growth of domestic market
It’s no longer just other country’s wines we’re drinking. The UK is finally a wine making nation in its own right, with vineyards now the fastest food and drink sector in terms of growth in the country. There were 64 brand new vineyards in 2016 alone.
Our wine industry is one of the few benefits of climate change and we’re also benefitting from improved wine growing techniques. We now have 500 vineyards and look likely to catch up with our 1,700 breweries before too long. VAT on the average bottle of UK wine is about £2.80, so the industry is now pouring a decent amount of money (£9.1 billion) into the country’s coffers.
From luxury to every day
There was a time when quaffing Prosecco or a decent red was reserved for meals out or special occasions. Now that it’s possible to buy excellent quality Prosecco in the supermarket for as little as £5.99, it’s perhaps not surprising that people are choosing wine over beer more often and enjoying it at home as a matter of course.
Is our love of wine good for our health?
While drinking too much alcohol on a regular basis is universally considered a bad idea, experts do say that wine in moderation has distinct health benefits.
Some studies suggest that women who are aged over 55 can benefit from drinking five units or less of wine a week. It seems that antioxidants in the wine, including resveratrol and quercetin, could protect against heart disease.
However, it can’t be emphasised enough that moderation is key and no one is suggesting that people knock back a bottle of wine every night!