Five ways your drinking habits will change in 2017: Majestic Wine sets its predictions for the year ahead

Courtney Goldsmith
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English sparkling wine had a strong year in 2016, and Majestic Wine says its set to continue
English sparkling wine had a strong year in 2016, and Majestic Wine says its set to continue (Source: Getty)

Announcing a Christmas season that pushed sales up 15.3 per cent, booze retailer Majestic Wine took the opportunity to polish up its crystal ball and make industry predictions for the year ahead....

1. We'll start choosing English sparkling wine over champagne

In 2016 UK winemakers experienced an exceptional harvest thanks to perfectly timed weather patterns, leading the industry to believe this year's crop will be the ripest, most concentrated and highest-quality batch for decades. France, on the other hand, had a tough year as frost, hail and droughts hit vineyards in Champagne, Chablis and Sancerre.

With a great batch of grapes and no fuss with sterling's impact on import costs, 2017 is set to be the year of English sparkling wine. Majestic's Naked Wine arm reported sales were up seven per cent over Christmas.

2. Your next favourite wine will be Portuguese

Spain's Rioja red wine had previously dominated sales at Majestic, but over the 10-week festive trading period Portuguese reds stole the show.

Sales of Portuguese bottles were up 160 per cent to steal the top-selling red wine spot.

Read more: Portugal's oldest wine region is also its best kept secret

3. Clapham drinkers will put the rest of us to shame

The best-performing region for Majestic Wine this Christmas season was Clapham. Sales over the holiday period hit a record £1m in the south London area.

Read more: Purr-fect commute? Cats have taken over this Tube station

4. Prosecco will continue clobbering champagne

Naked Wines reported it sold three bottles of prosecco for every bottle of champagne over the festive period. Earlier in 2016, prosecco sales were said to be up 25 per cent over champagne.

Champagne prices have fallen seven per cent since the European Union referendum in June, but its market value in the UK of €333m (£278m) is dwarfed by prosecco's value of €600m (£502m).

5. Gin's not going away any time soon

Okay, this one's not about wine, but we couldn't resist. Gin sales at Majestic were up 55 per cent in 2016, the year in which the Wine and Spirit Trade Association called gin the spirit of the year. Majestic said Warner Edwards Rhubarb Gin had sales increase over a thousand per cent, while Sipsmith Sloe Gin nearly doubled in sales.

Read more: Gin sales are now set to overtake Scottish whisky sales by 2020

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