Wine is Britain’s favourite alcoholic drink, according to independent data published by Wine Drinkers UK, a collection of wine lovers, makers and sellers.
A YouGov survey of over 2,000 consumers has shown that, among adults who drank alcohol in the past 12 months, wine was drunk by 81% of people, beating both beer (79%) and spirits (79%) to the top spot. This equates to more than 33m wine drinkers in the UK today.
When asked to select their favourite alcoholic drink, consumers chose wine as their number one, with 28% choosing wine compared with 23% who chose beer and 20% who chose spirits. This goes against the expectations of almost half of those polled (48%), who mistakenly assumed that beer would be the UK’s favourite alcoholic drink.
Despite its status as the most widely drunk and most popular alcoholic drink, tax rises on wine in the last decade (39%) have far outstripped those on beer (16%) and spirits (27%). The lack of awareness among consumers about how alcohol is taxed was stark in the survey. Only 5% of people correctly guessed the level of tax they pay on a £5 bottle of wine, and 90% were unaware that wine has been subject to harsher increases in duty than beer and spirits in the UK in the last five years.
Wine Drinkers UK is calling on the chancellor Sajid Javid to stop unfairly penalising wine drinkers in favour of other drinkers at the next budget. The campaign group is backed by wine commentators, companies and enthusiasts.
The survey also revealed the ranking of the UK’s favourite types of wines:
- 1st – Crisp white – Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio – 41%
- 2nd – Full bodied red – Malbec or Shiraz – 38%
- 3rd – Prosecco – 34%
- 4th – Champagne – 24%
- 5th – Light-bodied red – Pinot Noir – 23%
- 6th – Blush rosé – White Zinfandel – 22%
- 7th – Oaky white – Chardonnay – 17%
- Joint 9th – English Sparkling Wine AND Dry rosé – Southern French rosé or Pinot Grigio rosé – 16%