Brits 'buy wine they know' at higher prices

British wine-drinking is taking a new direction, as more and more consumers buy wine they recognise, and spend more per bottle.

New figures from Wine Intelligence reveal that, in 2008, almost two thirds of Britons usually spent less than £5 on wine for home consumption.

Now, fewer than half - just 45% of those surveyed - spend less than £5 when they buy wine to drink at home.

With duty on alcoholic beverages of all kinds on the rise, wine merchants who offer discounts and deals are most likely to gain customers.

The research firm's UK Market Trends Report 2012 suggests that wine merchants' promotions are the main driving force behind product choice at present.

However, knowledge of wine remains important too, with product familiarity, branding and choice of grape all close on the heels of special offers as reasons why people buy.

Richard Halstead, chief operating officer of Wine Intelligence, says: "Britain's wine drinkers have got used to the idea of buying good food and wine to drink at home for a treat, whilst still saving money compared with a night out.

"Whilst promotions are still the key driver of purchase, it is being tempered by a need to trust in the product, which is driving consumers towards familiar and reassuring brands."