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The 9 most popular types of wine in the UK

Wine is the UK’s favourite alcoholic drink, according to a new survey, with more than eight in every 10 drinkers opting for vino.

A YouGov survey of over 2,000 consumers found that, among adults who drank alcohol in the past 12 months, wine was drunk by 81% of people, narrowly beating both beer (79%) and spirits (79%) to the top spot.

This means that some 33 million people in the UK drank wine in the last year.

And when they were asked about their favourite drink, wine came out on top again, with almost 30% (28%) saying it was their tipple of choice, compared to 23% who said they preferred beer, and spirits coming in third with 21% of the vote.

The survey was carried out by Wine Drinkers UK, a campaign group backed by wine commentators, companies and enthusiasts including Helena Nicklin of Amazon Prime TV series The Three Drinkers, Treasury Wine Estates and Concha y Toro UK.

The group has launched a a campaign calling on the government to “address the unfair duty levels that are applied to wine in comparison to other alcoholic drinks.” It said that tax rises on wine in the last decade (39%) have “far outstripped those on beer (16%) and spirits (27%).”

The group also said that the survey shows there is a misconception with the typical wine consumer in the UK. While wine came out on top with those in the ABC1 category – considered “middle class” consumers – wine also matched beer in terms of popularity when it came to C2DE consumers, with 23% of drinkers in this category saying they drink both.

In addition, the report also asked drinkers which wines they opted for most often.

Click through to find out which types of wine are most popular with UK consumers right now….

=9th. English Sparkling Wine AND dry rosé (such as Provence style rosés)

Of the wine drinkers surveyed, a modest number appeared to be fans of the nation’s fast-growing domestic output, with 16% of consumers enjoying a glass of English sparkling wine.

In addition, the nation’s love of rosé, particularly those from southern France or Italy, shows no signs of dying just yet, with 16% also saying they have opted for a pink tipple in the past year.

7th. Oaked white Chardonnay – 17%

(Photo: Brazzo/iStock)

Chardonnay is the world’s most popular grape for crafting white wine, and is the 5th most widely planted grape varietal in the world. The versatile grape rose to notoriety with UK drinkers in the 1980s, before coming the butt of jokes thanks to an excess of oak and malolactic influence.

But today, the oaked style is still popular with consumers, accounting for a modest but notable 17% of wine those surveyed enjoyed.

6th. Blush rosé (such as White Zinfandel) – 22%

Blush rosés such as White Zinfandel are enjoyed by just over a fifth (22%) of wine drinkers in the UK.

Rosé wine has undergone a consumer revolution over the past decade. Rosé accounted for just 7% of sales in 2017, compared with 52% white and 41% red. However, value sales of rose are growing faster (+5%) than volume (+4%) – a trend that has continued for the past five years.

5th. Light-bodied red (such as Pinot Noir) – 23%

Few wines demonstrate Hollywood’s influence over consumer buying habits than Pinot Noir.

2004’s film Sideways centres on two friends hitting the road to sample some Californian wine. In one of the film’s most classic scenes, Paul Giamatti’s unstable oenophile Miles Raymond screams” “If anyone orders Merlot I’m leaving. I’m not drinking any f*cking Merlot!”

The line has been credited with dampening Merlot sales, but the film may have had an even greater affect on Pinot Noir.

“Only somebody who really takes the time to understand Pinot’s potential can then coax it to its fullest expression,” Miles says in the film.

“Then, I mean, oh its flavours, they’re just the most haunting and brilliant and subtle and ancient thing on the planet.”

As a result Pinot sales rocketed by 16% in the months after the film.

And today, nearly a quarter of wine drinkers in the UK say they opted for a light red such as Pinot this year.

4th. Champagne – 24%

Bollinger was on pour at Royal Ascot last year (Photo: Nicky J Sims/Getty Images for Champagne Bollinger )

While English sparkling wine did feature in the ranking, it was outstripped by Champagne, which was imbibed by just under a quarter (24%) of UK drinkers. Although the famous French fizz was also outpaced by another, more affordable European sparkler….

3rd. Prosecco – 34%

The UK is in the grips of a Prosecco obsession. Brits drank a third of the world’s Prosecco stocks back in 2017, and it is the most popular sparkling wine with drinkers in the YouGove survey by a wide margin, although there are fears that Brexit could knock sales.

2nd. Full bodied red (such as Malbec or Shiraz) – 38%

When it came to reds, Brits preferred to sip on fuller-bodied expressions loaded with rich fruits like Malbec and Shiraz, as just under 40% (38%) said it was their wine of choice this year.

1st. Crisp white wine (such as Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio) – 41%

Crisp, acidic, dry white wines reign supreme as the nation’s favourite wine.

With 41% of drinkers in the YouGov survey saying they opted for one in the last 12 months, it’s little wonder that celebrities like Graham Norton and Sarah Jessica Parker are teaming up with producers in New Zealand to launch their own labels in the UK market.

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