This year, for the first time on record, the average price of a bottle of wine is expected to break the £6 mark in the UK, according to new figures from the Wine and Spirit Trade Association and Wine Drinkers UK.

The news comes as Wine Drinkers UK releases new supermarket shopping data from Kantar which shows that the latest price hike risks alienating 9.7m shoppers who don’t buy wine over the £6 barrier. This is equivalent to more than half (54 percent) of shoppers of who buy 75CL bottles of still wine.

As a result, Wine Drinkers UK and the Wine and Spirits Trade Association have come together to call on the Government to cut wine duty at the Chancellor’s Budget on 11 March and help bring the cost of wine down for consumers.

There are two distinct groups who are particularly feeling the price rise; those with a household income less than £30,000 and families with children and therefore little disposable income. Wine purchases by families with children have dropped 2.1% between December 2018 and December 2019, and 61 percent of shoppers with a household income of less than £30,000 only buy wine which costs less than £6. These figures could increase further with the average price set to continue to rise.

Wine expert Joe Fattorini commented, “It’s time for a fairer deal for the 33 million wine drinkers in the UK. Too many people still think wine is enjoyed by ‘wealthy’ or ‘posh’ people meaning price rises aren’t a problem, but that clearly isn’t the case. If the average price for a bottle of wine tips over the £6 mark as is predicted, we risk freezing out millions of hard-working people from a drink that they enjoy. The new Government has an opportunity to cut wine duty for the first time in over 35 years and give those people a break. I think it’s high time they did so.”

Laura Christen, Client Manager at Kantar, said, “Rising duty and reduced promotional activity has contributed to the increasing price of entry into wine. This is a trend which risks alienating value-conscious shoppers as it has hit those who spend on lower-priced wine the hardest, meaning that households with a lower disposable income could be priced out of the category altogether.”

Taxes on wine in the last decade have increased nearly 40 percent – far outstripping the increases on beer (16 percent), as well as cider and spirits (27 percent). This has been compounded by rising import costs due to the impact of Brexit on the pound.

The Wine Show presenter and Wine Drinkers UK supporter Joe Fattorini, has reacted to the Government’s announcement of its upcoming Budget on March 11:

“With the date set for the new Government’s first Budget, Wine Drinkers UK is calling for a fairer deal for the 33 million wine drinkers in the UK.

Despite the fact that wine is the nation’s favourite drink, a cut to wine duty at this year’s Budget would be the first in over 35 years – with tax on wine having risen twice as fast beer in the past decade.

It’s time for the new Government to cut consumers a break and cut back wine tax.”

If you agree with Joe join Wine Drinkers UK today!

Women are being penalised for preferring a different drink to men, new data shows

Tax on wine, the most popular alcoholic drink among women in the UK, has risen twice as fast as tax on the most popular alcoholic drink among men over the past decade, according to new research.

A YouGov survey of 2000 people reveals that 39% of women list a type of wine as their favourite alcoholic drink, with 7% choosing a type of beer. Among men, the order is reversed with 40% preferring beer and 16% preferring wine. The findings also once again show that wine is not just a drink just for the “middle-class”, with 34% of “working class” women (social grade C2DE), preferring wine compared to 7% preferring beer. 

The data also reveals that wine is also more widely consumed by women than beer, with a calculated 84% of women drinkers choosing wine in the last 12 months, compared to 68%, who have drunk beer. For men this is reversed with 78% having drunk wine and 91% beer.

An analysis of Budget decisions since 2010, however, shows that duty on wine has risen by 39% since 2010, compared with a rise of just 16% for beer.  Following these increases, more duty is paid on a typical serving of wine than any other drink, with duty making up 52p of an average 175ml glass of wine, compared to 43p for a pint of beer.  As well as duty, alcoholic drinks are also subject to standard VAT which is 20% on top.

Wine Drinkers UK, a recently formed campaign group is calling for an end to, and reversal of, the unfair penalisation of wine drinkers at the next Budget. The campaign is backed by wine commentators, companies and enthusiasts including Helen McGinn, wine author and blogger, Joe Fattorini of ITV’s Wine Show, Treasury Wine Estates and Concha y Toro UK.

Supporters of Wine Drinkers UK have written to Simon Clarke, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury – the government minister responsible for alcohol duty rates – calling for a reduction in wine duty at the next Budget.

Findings launched on ‘Wine Tax Freedom Day’, the point in the year when wine drinkers effectively stop paying tax on the average priced bottle of wine

12 August 2019 – Wine is Britain’s favourite alcoholic drink according to independent data published today by Wine Drinkers UK, a collection of wine lovers, makers and sellers.

Wine Drinkers UK is calling on the new Chancellor to stop unfairly penalising wine drinkers in favour of other drinkers at the next Budget. The campaign group is backed by wine commentators, companies and enthusiasts including Helena Nicklin of Amazon Prime TV series The Three Drinkers, Treasury Wine Estates and Concha y Toro UK.

A YouGov survey of over 2,000 consumers has shown that, among adults who drank alcohol in the past 12 months, wine was drunk by 81% of people, beating both beer (79%) and spirits (79%) to the top spot.

This equates to more than 33 million[1] wine drinkers in the UK today, all of whom have been subject to tax rises of almost 40% on wine in the last 10 years.

The last Chancellor to cut still wine duty was Nigel Lawson, 35 years ago, when wine would not have been as regular a feature in British shopping baskets.

The latest poll reveals that when asked to select their favourite alcoholic drink, consumers chose wine as their number one tipple, with 28% choosing wine compared with 23% who chose beer and 20% who chose spirits. This goes against the expectations of the nation, with almost half of those polled (48%) mistakenly assuming that beer would be the UK’s favourite alcoholic drink.

The findings also call into question the long-held perception that wine is a drink just for the “middle-class” – among the “working class” social grade (C2DE)[2], wine matched beer’s popularity, with both drink types being selected by 23% of individuals as their favourite. Spirits was just behind among the C2DE social grade at 22%.

Despite its status as the most widely drunk and most popular alcoholic drink, tax rises on wine in the last decade (39%) have far outstripped those on beer (16%) and spirits (27%). The lack of awareness among consumers about how alcohol is taxed was stark in the survey. Only 5% of people correctly guessed the level of tax they pay on a £5 bottle of wine, and 90% were unaware that wine has been subject to harsher increases in duty than beer and spirits in the UK in the last five years.

The findings come on 12th August dubbed “Wine Tax Freedom Day”. The day falls 61% of the way through the year to reflect the 61% of a £5 bottle of wine that is made up of tax – with consumers paying 83p on VAT and £2.23 on duty. This is the price point at which two thirds of wine is sold to shoppers in the UK.

This year, consumers have already spent an estimated £2.1bn on wine taxation. This is the most tax paid on wine by any country in Europe.

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 ten 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.”

The survey also reveals the ranking of the UK’s favourite types of wines:

RANKINGWINE TYPEPercentage of alcohol drinkers who drink each selection
1stCrisp white e.g. Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio41%
2ndFull bodied red e.g. Malbec or Shiraz38%
5thLight-bodied red e.g. Pinot Noir 23%
6thBlush rosé e.g. White Zinfandel22%
7thOaky white e.g. Chardonnay17%
=9thEnglish Sparkling Wine AND Dry rosé e.g. Southern French rosé or Pinot Grigio rosé16%



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About Wine Drinkers UK

Wine Drinkers UK is a collection of wine lovers, makers and sellers, fed up with being unfairly taxed.  The Cut Back Wine Tax campaign was launched to get a fairer deal for wine drinkers across the country.  Wine is woven into our social fabric. 81% – or 33 million – of UK drinkers drank wine in the past 12 months, making it the nation’s most popular alcoholic drink. The UK’s wine drinkers deserve the Government’s support, not punitive treatment.

Our supporters include wine producers, bottlers, retailers, and enthusiasts, as well as representatives from the UK’s hospitality sector.

You can see a list of our supporters here:


Fieldwork was undertaken by YouGov. We completed two surveys – one nationally representative survey and one city specific survey:

  • The national survey fieldwork was carried out between 29th – 30th July 2019. Total sample size was 2072 adults. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+).
  • The city survey fieldwork was undertaken between 25th – 31st July 2019. Total sample size was 3227 adults. The survey was carried out online.

We used ONS data to work out that 33.9m in the UK drink wine:

  • The latest ONS figures show that 20% of UK adults are teetotal, which means 80% of the UK’s population drinks alcohol.
  • According to the latest population data from ONS there are 52.3m people over the age of 18 in the UK, which means 41.8m drink alcohol
  • 81% of people in our nationally representative survey said they drink wine which means there are 33.9m wine drinkers in the UK.

[1] Based on 2017 ONS data for adult drinking habits in Great Britain and Wine Drinkers UK calculations

[2] Social grade definitions, according to the National Readership survey, are split into two broad categories – ABC1 refers to the so-called ‘middle class’ and C2DE refers to the so-called ‘working class’