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South African Wine more popular than French in the UK!

For centuries if Britons drank wine the chances were it was French….. but now it seems things are a changing! The British are now drinking more wine from Australia, USA, Italy and SOUTH AFRICA! South African wines are going from strength to strength in the UK market and have now claimed the fourth spot.

Latest market figures from analysts Nielsen show that drinkers prefer reds, whites and rosés from Italy and South Africa – which has only exported to Britain since the end of apartheid in the mid-Nineties – to those from the traditional home of wine. With demand for Chilean wine also rising fast, France could even slump into sixth.
Wine experts said France had been hit by high costs in its small vineyards, the strength of the euro, damaging petty disputes between its 21 wine regions and changing tastes during the recession. The country has seen the mass vin de table market virtually wiped out by the influx of cheap wines from the New World.
The collapse is so severe that British retailers and importers, including Tesco and Morrisons, have even clubbed together to advise the French government on how to improve the image of its wine.
Brian Howard, business development director of Wine Intelligence consultancy, said the recession accelerated the trend: “It is not as if Britain’s 27.9million adult regular wine drinkers have woken up and said ‘I’m not going to drink French wine today’.
“French is still preferred in the over-£6 category but we have seen a move away from formal occasions at home when traditionally a big French Bordeaux or Burgundy would be the must have.”
South African wines have been particularly popular over the past year because the rand is weaker than the pound, allowing supermarkets to lower prices. The average price of a South African bottle sold in Britain is £4.25.

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