Six in ten show preference for wine in poll

Six in ten adults in the UK show a preference for wine over other sorts of alcoholic beverage, a recent Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) poll suggests.

Most people in every age group looked at, and in every UK region looked at, had this opinion, according to the stats.

Meanwhile, half guessed there are under 100 UK vineyards, when there are actually more than 440.

Some 57 per cent of people aged 25 to 34 picked out wine as their preferred alcoholic drink, a higher proportion than ever previously recorded.

There was also a majority view that alcohol duty levels are too high, with 64 per cent expressing this opinion.

The WSTA notes that figures from HMRC suggest there was an 18.4 per cent drop in alcohol drinking per head from 2004 to 2013 in the UK.

"Our polling shows that regardless of the stereotypes, wine is now the nation’s favourite drink and is enjoyed by a majority of people across all ages, regions and social classes," commented the chief executive of the WSTA, Miles Beale.

"While our consumption of alcohol continues to fall, wine is our new favourite drink and, with the global emergence of British wine and food products, we are calling on the Chancellor to drop alcohol duty by two per cent at the Budget in March."

Mr Beale argued that cutting tax on wine will give relief to Britain's wine industry and bring in over £1 billion yearly in extra money towards public finances.

This is based on estimates from EY, which also suggest that bringing down duty for the wine industry by two per cent would boost jobs in the sector – including hospitality jobs in places like pubs.

In other alcoholic beverage developments, Mintel recently predicted that beer sales would be up 1.3 per cent by volume in 2014 – a rise pushed mainly by the amount of lager sold.

It predicted 4.24 billion litres of beer would be sold in the UK last year, including 3.17 billion litres of lager, 891 million litres of ale and 183 million litres of stout.