Summer rise in 'off sales' as more Brits buy wine for home

It seems more Britons chose to buy wine to enjoy at home during the warm summer months - perhaps thanks to several weeks of barbecue weather - as indicated in newly published statistics from the Wine and Spirit Trade Association.

WSTA found total off-trade volume sales grew by 3% in the 12 weeks to the end of August, helping to offset a slight 2% decline in annual sales compared with the previous year.

Rising alcohol duty has helped to make the figures relating to value sales seem more positive, but much of the extra spending by consumers is simply going to the government as taxation.

However, it would appear that Britons are still choosing to buy wine that suits their tastes, with sparkling wines in particular growing in popularity in recent months.

Sparkling wine overall saw a 10% annual increase in volume sales, with an even higher 12% increase in the past 12 weeks.

"While the hot weather provided a temporary and welcome boost for the off trade, ongoing duty increases and squeezed consumer spending continue to damage the trade," said WSTA chief executive Miles Beale.