Chilean wine is the most popular in Ireland, but sales of the popular tipple remain down on pre-pandemic levels as the industry called for an excise cut in the upcoming Budget.
Drinks Ireland, a branch of business group IBEC, said that Irish wine drinkers face the highest excise level on wine in the EU as it called for a 15% decrease to the excise rate over the next two budgets from Government.
Its market report for 2022 showed that wine’s market share in Ireland decreased by 8.9% in 2022 and by 17% compared to 2020 during the height of covid lockdowns when the pubs were closed.
Per capita, consumption of wine was down almost 2% last year, pointing towards a “continued downward trajectory of Irish alcohol consumption”, Drinks Ireland claimed. Sales of wine remain 3% down on pre-pandemic levels.
White wine remains the most popular category of wine at 48% market share, closely followed by red at 45%, with rosé on 6%.
Wine from Chile had the highest market share at 24.7%, with Spanish, Australian, and French wine trailing behind. South African wine grew its market share in 2022 by 10%.
While non-alcoholic beer has made inroads into the market in recent years, the IBEC group said that 0.0% wine also saw an increase in market share in 2022.
Sparkling wine also increased its market share slightly, but Drinks Ireland said that the excise duty hit puts €6.37 on a standard bottle.
This compares to €3.19 per standard bottle of wine of 13% alcohol strength. Wine sales contributed €385m in excise to the Exchequer last year, according to the industry body.
Drinks Ireland director Cormac Healy said: “It is therefore disappointing that Irish consumers continue to pay disproportionally high levels of excise duty.
“We are calling for a 15% decrease on alcohol excise duty over the next two budgets, easing the burden on hard pressed consumers and businesses and moving us somewhat closer to EU norms.”