Wine is reclaiming its place on the family dinner table and more US adults than ever are drinking it, a new survey has revealed.

The survey by the Wine Market Council found that between 2000 and 2005 the wine drinking population in the US increased by 31% among adults in households with a household income greater than US$35,000, while the number of adults drinking beer and/or spirits but not wine decreased by 25%.

Wine is increasingly being chosen as an accompaniment to meals in ‘casual chain’ restaurants, and at home when all the family dine together, the survey found.

Wine Market Council chair Michaela Rodeno said, ‘The tremendous surge in popularity for wine is coming from several sources. Young adults of the millennial generation are embracing wine in a manner not seen since the baby boomers took to wine in the 1970s.’

Beer and spirits drinkers, she added, are also increasingly finding they like wine as well.

The new generation of drinkers was also found to be interested in learning more about wine, and are open to experimenting with wine from all over the world.

Drinkers are also most interested in brands that convey a lighthearted and relaxed image, the survey of 1,398 wine consumers, conducted by Merrill Research, found. It is the fifth wave of a series of studies undertaken by the Council, beginning in 1994.

The findings were presented this week at the Culinary Institute of America in St Helena, Napa.

Wine Market Council is an independent, non-profit trade association of grape growers, wine producers, importers, wholesalers, retailers and other organisations affiliated with the wine industry.

Written by Adam Lechmere