According to the latest Irish Wine Market Report from Drinks Ireland | Wine (formerly the Irish Wine Association), wine remains Ireland’s second most popular beverage, with a 27% market share of the alcohol drinks market.
The report shows that in 2018, total wine consumption decreased by 2% compared with the previous year, while per capita wine consumption decreased by 3.6%. This decrease reflects the general trend of declining alcohol consumption in Ireland.
Elsewhere, the report found that the wine sector makes a significant contribution to the Irish 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. In 2018, the sector paid €376 million to the Exchequer. Over the past ten years, wine excise has generated over €3.5 billion for the Irish Government.
As part of the report, sales of red, white and rosé wine sales were compared and it was found that red wine consumption increased by 1% between 2017 and 2018, accounting for 46% of the total. White wine consumption decreased by 1% to 49%, while rosé consumption remains the same at 5%. The sparkling wine category decreased from 2.7% of the overall market to 2.4% between 2017 and 2018.
The report also looked at the performance of wine by country of production. For the sixth consecutive year, Chilean wine remains the favourite in Ireland, followed by Australian. The third, fourth and fifth favourites are Spanish, French and Italian respectively.
Commenting on the report, Jim Bradley, Chair of Drinks Ireland | Wine and Chairman of wine distributor Febvre Wines, said: “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 get 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.”