The British are expected to spend more on wine than the French, which would make the UK the second largest wine market after the United States.
The wine market in the UK rose 15 percent to $16.1 billon between 2008 and 2014. By 2018 the British wine market will reach $17.1 billion (surpassing France), according to research carried out by Vinexpo, a wine exhibition and forum, and the International Wine and Spirits Record.
“We can confidently say that 2015 will show that the UK wine recession is over,” said Guillaume Deglise, chief executive of Vinexpo.
“While the UK market shed 9.6m cases between 2008 and 2013, it is now past that point. The UK wine trade is building value and many leading marketers report progress at the premium end,” he said.
A lot of the growth in the British wine market is because of increasing popularity of “premium” wines that cost between £7 to £14.
Chris Wisson, drinks analyst at Mintel, a market research company, said:
“This is part of a wider trend of consumers drinking less, but when they do drink, some are looking for something a bit more special,”
Italian wine has become more popular in the UK, climbing up as the second largest source of imports (ahead of France) in 2013 – only behind Australia. The volume of Italian wine imported between 2009 and 2013 increased 12.6 per cent to 20.7 million 9-litre cases.
Overall wine consumption dropped by 10.5 percent in the same period.
British consumers are buying less French wine than they used to, particularly Bordeaux, as quality has not reflected price over the past few years.
Spanish wines have also become more popular, with imports increasing by nearly 25 percent to 16.7 million 9-litre cases between 2009 and 2013. Sherry has become increasingly more popular in London’s tapas bars over the past ten years.