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Drinking wine is a lockdown treat, says survey

New research suggests that US and UK wine lovers have indulged more often during the coronavirus lockdown and plan to continue doing so, although Britons in particular have sought-out cheaper bottles.

From online catch-ups with friends to a lunchtime tipple, many people have poured a glass wine more often during the coronavirus lockdown, suggests a Wine Intelligence survey of wine drinkers in the US and UK.

Sixteen percent of the 1,000 people polled in the UK said they were drinking wine every day, up from 11% prior to the lockdown beginning.

That reinforces merchants’ reports of sales spikes that would normally only be seen at Christmas, although the divide in fortunes between retailers and the hospitality trade has been stark.

Looking ahead, as lockdown restrictions begin to ease-off, Wine Intelligence said a recent surge in online wine orders looked set to be sustained as consumers continue to seek affordable treats to enjoy at home.

‘[UK] respondents are telling us that expensive holidays and big social events do not seem appropriate, but small indulgences like trying new food and wine resonate more,’ Lucie Halstead, CEO of Wine Intelligence.

It’s a similar story in the US, where Halstead said last week that survey data showed wine drinkers were ‘understandably quite cautious about their household finances and the idea of getting on a plane’.

She added, ‘Thankfully for the wine category, their intention seems to be replacing big treats like vacations and big events with small treats like a nicer bottle of wine.’

However, not everyone has been spending more per bottle so far.

‘The UK wine consumer has, temporarily at least, reversed their long-established trend towards drinking less but better, and is now seeking volume and value,’ said Halstead.

The picture was more mixed in the US, where a Wine Intelligence survey of 2,000 wine drinkers found that those who typically spent between $15 and $20 on a bottle had opted for slightly more expensive wines during lockdown.

Less frequent wine drinkers in the US had cut their spend, while 20% of respondents had ‘significantly cut down on spending and wine consumption’, said Wine Intelligence, which has included the survey data in its Covid impact reports for the US and UK.

See also:

New online tool helps US restaurants to sell fine wines

Sommelier’s view: How Covid-19 has changed my world

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