On 4 February we reported that the UK was forecast to become Europe’s biggest wine market, and the world’s second largest after the USA.

This was a misinterpretation by us of figures presented by British firm International Wine & Spirits Record on the global wine and spirits market, for wine fair organiser Vinexpo.

The correct figures show the UK will be the fastest-growing wine market in Europe and the second-fastest in the world after the USA.

Vinexpo predicts a growth rate of 15.7% between 2003 and 2008 for the UK, making it the fastest-growing wine market in Europe.

For the USA, a growth rate of 28.6% is forecast, making it the fastest-growing wine market in the world.

In terms of positioning, by 2008 the USA will be the world’s largest wine consumer, followed by Italy, France, Germany and the UK.

Wine sales in the UK should reach £6bn (US$11.3bn) by 2008, up from £5.1bn in 2003.

Consumers in the UK drink a total of more than 1.5 billion bottles each year, or 24.8 litres per person. Per capita consumption will rise to 28 litres in 2008, one

of the fastest growth rates in the world, Vinexpo said.

Written by Adam Lechmere, and agencies