Wine sales declined by 13% in 2021 as hospitality venues reopened – new report

August 19, 2022
  • Chilean wine remains most popular in Ireland, but French wine gains market share in 2021
  • Irish consumers face highest excise on wine in EU, with sparkling wine drinkers paying ‘double taxation’

Wine sales in Ireland declined by 13% in 2021 to their lowest level since 2015, according to a new report released today.

The Wine Market Report 2021 from Drinks Ireland|Wine details how wine sales increased during lockdowns in 2020, despite overall alcohol consumption declining during this time, as consumers moved away from categories like beer and wine that are popular in pubs. But the reopening of the on-trade sector later last year saw sales of wine fall.

White wine remains the most popular in Ireland with a 48% market share, with red wine holding a 45% share, both unchanged from 2020.

Rosé has become increasingly popular in Ireland in recent years particularly during summer months. While its market share remained static in 2021, it has grown from 3% in 2016 to 7% in 2021.

Elsewhere, the market share of sparkling wine was marginally down from 2.3% in 2020 to 2.0% in 2021.

Meanwhile, Chilean, Spanish and Australian wine are the top 3 most popular in Ireland respectively, but their market share all declined last year.

While French wines remain the fourth most popular, it was one of the few countries that saw an increase in its market share. This was primarily due to French wine being easier to export to Ireland compared to the logistical challenges that face wine in other markets.

The report shows that wine is the nation’s second most popular drink after beer, with a market share of 29.3%, down by 2.9% last year.

With 54% of a standard bottle of wine going to tax, Drinks Ireland|Wine has called for excise to be cut.

Jonathan McDade, Director of Wine at Drinks Ireland said:

“Today’s report illustrates some interesting trends among Irish wine consumers last year, as the country emerged from Covid restrictions. While sales held steady for the first quarter of the year, there were significant falls in sales for the rest of 2021.

“We are calling for a 15% decrease on excise on wine over the next two budgets. As the cost-of-living crisis worsens, Irish consumers face the highest excise on wine in the EU, which is €3.19 on a standard bottle. For sparkling wine drinkers, the excise hit is doubled with a rate of €6.37 on a standard bottle. This is effectively a tax on life’s celebrations and special occasions. This disproportionate high level of tax must urgently be addressed at this challenging time.“

Drinks Ireland 2021 Wine Report pdf | 1990.7 kb