Britain has become the world's biggest consumer of imported wine, and wine drinking is expected to grow over the next four years despite the economic downturn, according to Vinexpo, organiser of the world's biggest wine and spirit exhibition.
Its research, conducted by IWSR, reveals wine drinking in Britain grew more than 12% in the five years from 2003 to 2007 and is forecast to continue growing over the next five years, albeit at a much slower rate of just over 6%.
White wine is most popular in the UK, with rosé wine rising fast and red wine falling back. In 2008 it is estimated that we drank more than 764 million bottles of white wine in Britain that number is forecast to rise to 823 million over the next five years. In the same period, consumption of rosé wine is forecast to rise more than 47%, from 150 million bottles to 220 million bottles. Consumption of red wine is forecast to fall from 720 million bottles last year to 687 million in 2012.
The top five suppliers to the UK market are, in order of importance, Australia, France, USA, Italy and Spain.