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Consumers prefer low alcohol wine but grape variety is still king

New research by Wine Intelligence amongst 1000 wine drinkers in three continents shows the alcohol content of wine is a major priority for wine drinkers nowadays.

The preference for lower alcohol is most marked in the younger generation and in China the survey found that women, and those aged 18-39, were more likely to say their preferred level of alcohol was 5.5-8%. In Britain 22% said their ideal wine was 10.5% or less, with similar numbers in Germany and the US saying the same.

German and Chinese wine drinkers were more likely to be ethical when choosing their wine whilst in the UK and US only one third said this was important.

But grape variety is cited as the most important factor when buying wine wherever you are in the world. More than 80% of respondents in the UK, China and Germany – and 93% in the US – said grape variety influenced the buying decision.

In the UK a quarter of respondents said Merlot and Pinot Grigio were their favourite grape varieties, drinkers in the US and China favour Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay, while the Germans prefer Dornfelder and Riesling.