Wine remains Ireland’s second-most-popular beverage with a 27% market share of the alcoholic drinks market according to the latest Irish Wine Market Report from Drinks Ireland|Wine (formerly the Irish Wine Association).
Elsewhere the report shows the wine sector making a significant contribution to the economy, supporting direct employment and thousands of other jobs in Ireland’s 13,000 restaurants, independent off-licences, supermarkets and hotels where wine is sold.
Last year the sector paid €376 million to the Exchequer although the decrease in consumption is matched by a decrease in Exchequer returns as the previous year’s figure was €382 million. The report notes that over the past 10 years excise on wine has generated over €3.5 billion for the Government.
Red wine up 1%
Red wine consumption increased by 1% between 2017 and 2018, accounting for 46% of total wine consumption while white wine consumption decreased by 1% to 49%. Rosé consumption remained the same at 5%.
Sparkling wine sales continued to decline in 2018, accounting for 2.4% of total wine sales, down from its 2.7% market share in 2017.
The winner from this was Table wines which increased share slightly from 96.2% of the wine category to 96.4% in 2018.
Chilean wine still the favourite
For the sixth consecutive year Chilean wine topped the nation’s favourite wine by country of origin with a 27.2% share of our wine market, followed by Australian wine (15.6%), Spanish (13.0%), French (11.9%) and Italian (9.4%) respectively.
Altogether, however, European wines have just 37.8% of the wine market where the Rest of the World has 62.7%.
Meanwhile, the performance of off-trade wine sales gained further ground between 2017 and 2018 with on-trade’s share of the wine market slipping from 20% to 18%.
Wine industry facing significant challenges
“Irish consumers are more sophisticated when it comes to what they eat and drink and are blessed with an array of some of the world’s finest wines, which are ideal for food pairing,” said Jim Bradley, Chair of Drinks Ireland|Wine and Chair of wine distributor Febvre.
“However the industry faces significant challenges including excise on wine which is the highest in the EU. For wine, Irish consumers pay €3.19 per standard bottle. Looking at a €9 bottle of wine, 54% is tax. Furthermore, sparkling wine gets an additional excise hit totalling to €6.37 on a standard bottle. Effectively this is a tax on celebrations. We would call on the Government to decrease excise on wine in the next Budget.”
His call reflects that of the drinks industry generally to decrease excise on wine in the forthcoming Budget.