December 15th - 2008 London
Wine is officially the UK’s favourite tipple, according to new research looking at the drinking habits of almost 18,000 people in 17 countries.
When asked to name their favourite alcoholic drink, 38 per cent of UK respondents opted for wine/sparkling wine, while just 27 per cent went for beer or lager. 14 per cent chose spirits, 10 per cent cocktails/‘alcopops’ and five per cent chose liqueurs and fortified wines.
Across Western Europe, 43 per cent of people identified wine as their favourite drink, with 34 per cent favouring beer or lager. Globally, the Italians and Swiss are most partial to wine – with 62 per cent of respondents in each country making it number one – while those in Turkey (65 per cent), Poland (51 per cent), the Czech Republic (51 per cent), Spain (49 per cent) and Germany (48 per cent) tend to favour beer.
The research also revealed that one in three Europeans do not drink alcohol at all. Turkey tops the list, with 80 per cent of respondents claiming to be teetotal – in line with being a majority Muslim population. Four in ten Americans do not touch alcohol, while half of those in Portugal and Italy say the same. The UK comes it at just over a quarter (26 per cent) staying away from alcohol entirely – well ahead of Germany, where just 18 per cent abstain, the Netherlands (15 per cent) and Greece and Sweden (14 per cent).
In terms of the regularity of drinking, approximately 40 per cent of Europeans drink alcohol a maximum of once a week, 16 per cent drink several times each week and ten percent have one or more alcoholic drinks a day. For the UK, this figure stays the same for those saying they drink alcohol once a week or less (40 per cent) and for those saying they drink alcohol once or more a day (10 per cent) – but the number saying they drink alcohol ‘a few times a week’ rises to almost a quarter (23 per cent).