Crisp white wines are UK drinkers' favourite, survey reveals

By Emily Hawkins contact

- Last updated on GMT

Wine and dine: YouGov has revealed that wine is the nation’s most widely drunk alcoholic drink
Wine and dine: YouGov has revealed that wine is the nation’s most widely drunk alcoholic drink

Related tags: Wine

Wine has been revealed as the nation’s most widely drunk alcoholic drink, in a new YouGov survey.

Among a sample of more than 2,000 adults who drank alcohol in the past 12 months, wine was drunk by 81% of people, surpassing both beer (79%) and spirits (79%). 

The research asked what wines consumers were most likely to opt for, with ‘crisp white’ wines like Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio the top choice for 41% of alcohol drinkers surveyed. 

The percentage of alcohol drinkers who drink each wine type

1. Crisp white, such as Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio - 41%

2. Full bodied red, such as Malbec or Shiraz - 38%

3. Prosecco - 34%

4. Champagne - 24%

5. Light-bodied red, such as Pinot Noir - 23%

6. Blush rosé, such as White Zinfandel - 22%

7. Oaky white, such as Chardonnay - 17%

8. English sparkling wine - 16%

9. Dry rosé, such as southern French rosé or Pinot Grigio rosé - 16%

'Full-bodied red’ wines such as Malbec or Shiraz were preferred by 38% of drinkers, while Prosecco took the bronze with 34% of drinkers favouring it.

Almost half of those surveyed (48%) mistakenly assumed beer would be the UK’s favourite alcoholic drink - although a recent survey declared beer was the most popular pub drink.

Tax campaign 

It comes as a new group of wine enthusiasts have launched an off-trade focused campaign against duty levels on the drink. 

Campaigners said a perception of the drink as one belonging to the middle classes means duty levels on it have increased at a much higher rate than beer and spirits.

YouGov’s survey called into question stereotypes such as wine being a ‘middle class drink’, said the new organisation, called Wine Drinkers UK.

Among the 'working class' social grade (C2DE), wine matched beer’s popularity, with both drink types being selected by 23% of individuals as their favourite.

The tax campaign was launched this week - 12 August 2019 - a date that is 61% of the way through the calendar year and has been dubbed ‘Wine Tax Freedom Day’. 

Outdated stereotypes

Wine writer and presenter Helena Nicklin of The Three Drinkers said: “These findings put to bed the lazy, outdated stereotype of wine as a preserve of the middle classes. They show very clearly, across the board, that it is the nation’s number one alcoholic drink. 

“More people drink it than beer or spirits and, when asked to name their favourite drink, it trumps every other alcoholic drink.

“Yet as the number of people enjoying wine grows, so does their tax bill. Duty on wine has risen over twice as fast as beer over the past 10 years. 

“As a result, on average, the majority of wine drinkers are handing over more than 50 pence in every pound they spend to the taxman. After a decade of unfair increases, it is time to cut them a break and cut back wine tax.”

Related topics: Wine

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