Wine sales are down, so who’s been giving it up?

A recent report shows that wine sales are down 3% on pre-pandemic levels, and the wine industry is seeking a decrease in excise to level out the playing field.

It’s a time-honoured tradition in Ireland, just as much as a cheeky pint in the local or the odd takeaway over the weekend, but it seems that wine may be off the menu for many of us.

While wine is still Ireland’s second favourite alcoholic beverage, the 3% drop in sales this year has given the wine industry the bottle to call for a 15% decrease in excise over the next two years.

The report also found that wine purchases were down 2% last year compared to that of pre-pandemic levels.

The annual Wine Market Report 2022 shows that wine’s market share in Ireland decreased by 8.9% in 2022 and 17% on the market share recorded in 2020 during the height of Covid lockdowns when pubs were closed and stay-at-home consumers favoured wine purchases at retail.

Wine drinkers in Ireland face the highest levels of excise in the EU, paying €3.19 per standard bottle of wine (13% ABV). The wine sector alone contributed a whopping €385 million in excise to the exchequer.

Cormac Healy, Director of Drinks Ireland, said: “We are continuing to witness an overall shift in consumption trends, with Ireland moving to a more balanced and moderate approach to drinking.

The report shows that, while the wine industry in Ireland is still thriving alongside a consumer-base with diverse tastes, Irish consumers are still paying a high price to enjoy one of their favourite beverages. Much more so than their EU counterparts.

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