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Young French drinking more wine

The number of “occasional” wine drinkers in France is growing, with young people and women returning to the national drink.

A study by the government affiliated body FranceAgriMer has suggested that the number of wine drinkers in France in 2015 is greater than it was five years ago.

There has been a lot of commentary in recent years surrounding the decline of wine drinking among French and other European youth but the study has found they are now likely to have “one or two glasses a week”.

Around 50% of female respondents said they drink a couple of glasses of wine a week, up from 42% in 2010, 40% of 15-24 years olds are occasional drinkers (down from 70% in 1980) and 57% of 25-34 year olds.

Of those drinking wine every day, 60% are aged over 65. Non-drinkers meanwhile dropped from 38% of the population in 2010 to 33% this year which is the first dip in tee-totallers since 1995.

Much as the French protest that they do not drink outside of meal times, 48% of respondents said they drank wine without food – down from 64% in 2010. Overall men were twice as likely to drink wine than women and more likely to drink it with meals, which the study suggested was due in part to a preference for red wine among men.

The rate of consumption of various alcoholic beverages rose sharply, as one might imagine, at the weekend.

Around 21% of respondents drank beer during the week, rising to 29% at the weekend, while just 1% drank sparkling wine on a weekday but 11% did at the weekend. For wine its was 29% during the week and 46% at the weekend.

The study also noted that the perception of wine was improving across age groups.

It stated: “Between 2010 and 2015 we observe a growing interest in wine. In total, a greater part of the population now says it likes the taste [of wine]. At the same time we note a positive change in the perception of wine consumption outside of ‘special occasions’.

“This tendency corresponds with a taste among French people in recent years for more home cooking and matching wine with it.”

Nonetheless, it also noted, that those drinking wine with a meal “without guests” fell from 50% in 2010 to 39% in 2015.

The full study (in French) can be found here.

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