More buy wine from South Africa and Argentina

The latest WSTA Market Report shows that consumers continued to buy wine from Argentina and South Africa in greater quantities, even before the Chancellor scrapped the alcohol duty escalator in the 2014 Budget speech.

Sales of wine from Argentina were up by 20% in the latest figures, with a 15% rise in volume sales among consumers who buy wine from South Africa.

However, the high rate of alcohol duty on wine has taken its toll overall, with a 2% drop in sales across the board.

Interestingly, it seems more consumers are becoming aware that when you buy wine for even a pound more, you vastly increase the proportion of the price that is going towards the wine itself, and not being lost to taxation.

During the Christmas period, premium products sold strongly, and average bottle prices are rising faster than volume sales.

And while Champagne sales dropped by 2% in the latest report, sparkling wine grew 7% in the short term and 8% for the year - part of a 23% growth rate since 2011.