Wine Paris, which takes place from 11 to 13 February 2019 at Paris Porte de Versailles, decided to assess French consumers’ interest in foreign wines by analysing their drinking patterns. While figures thrown up by the OpinionWay survey confirm that the French are strongly attached to their homegrown wine heritage, they also show an attraction for foreign wines.


The significance of wine in the daily life of the French is widely recognised. In fact, 86% of the French drink wine and more than half (54%) drink it regularly (at least once a week). While the majority of French people prefer wine from their own region, foreign wines are far from forgotten – 57% of French wine drinkers also drink foreign wine, thus recognising the diversity and quality of offerings from other countries. Among those who enjoy foreign wines, young people aged 18 to 24 drink the most (64%), while people aged 65 and over drink the least (50%). Geographically, foreign wines are consumed more in cities with a population of over 100,000 (60%). Nevertheless, people who live in rural communities are also open to foreign wines (55%) and, depending on the country of origin, can even be leading consumers. One relevant example is that they drink more Italian wine than people living in cities (51% versus 45%)! In terms of regions, Paris leads the way for the consumption of foreign wines (68%), followed by Eastern France (66%) and the Loire (63%). Foreign wines are also drunk more often in Paris (58%), particularly Italian wine (43%).


When asked what they prioritise at point of purchase, 87% of the French consider the country of origin to be the most important buying cue, just behind the region of origin (88%) and the price (88%). Foreign wine regions enjoy a high level of recognition by the French, who rank Italy first in terms of choice of origin (47%), far ahead of Spain and Chile (35% and 18%). Next come Portugal, South Africa and Argentina (all three at 10%), Australia and the United States (both at 7%) and Germany (3%). The figures reveal that most French people who drink foreign wine seem to favour the country of origin bordering on their own region. Thus, 69% of Corsicans prefer Italian wine (compared to 47% for the French overall average), 54% of Occitan and New Aquitaine residents prefer Spanish ine (compared to 35% for the French average), and Eastern France drinks the most German wine (7% versus 3% for the French average)


It is no accident that WINE PARIS has decided to take an interest in French wine tastes. This first international wine industry event in Paris, stemming from the fusion of VINISUD, the world of southern wines, and VINOVISION PARIS, the international cool climate exhibition, is a collective initiative supported by all the founding wine marketing boards and wine sector at large. Created by and for winegrowers, producers and trading companies, WINE PARIS is committed to promoting the extensive array of wines produced across a wide spectrum of wine regions. Its approach offers new ways of interpreting the wine proposition and alternatives that are relevant to markets and consumers. The depth and breadth of France’s wine proposition will be at the heart of this showcase, but foreign wines will be particularly well represented, currently spearheaded by Italy and Spain, followed by Portugal, Greece, Croatia, Lebanon, Algeria and Turkey. South Africa, New Zealand, Argentina, Australia and the United States are gradually joining them.

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