LONDON, April 2 /PRNewswire/ --

LONDON, April 2 /PRNewswire/ --

Women wine drinkers in the UK are knowledgeable, self-confident and buy eight out of ten bottles drunk at home, reveals Vinexpo, the world's biggest wine and spirit exhibition. The survey was undertaken in February with the magazines Decanter and Living etc.

The data, researched among more than 1300 women aged between 18 and 60+*, overturns perceptions of women's role in wine buying and their preferences and reveals that in many cases they are more influential in the choice of wines for the home than men.

A similar picture of self-confident and knowledgeable women wine drinkers emerges from comparable research initiated by Vinexpo in France, Germany, Japan and the USA. However, women in the UK scored highest for confidence (61% v an international average of 44%).

Six out of ten women in Britain (61%) said they drank wine at least once a week, while the same number said they preferred red wine (55 %) to white (35%). Fewer than one in ten women preferred rosé (7%).

Women drink wine because they like the taste (80%) and because it goes well with food (70%). Only one in five (23%) said they drank wine because it was fashionable and even fewer because it was good for their health (15%).

Nonetheless, women see wine as a healthier alternative to other alcoholic drinks. Just over half (51%) said they chose wine because it was better for them than beer or spirits. Nor were they deterred by government health warnings - 54% said they were not deterred - or by worries about additives in wine (54%)

For most women drinking wine is associated with specific moments of the day: with meals (91 %) with friends (89 %) at the end of the day (52 %) or as an aperitif (38%). These are moments shared by most women in the developed world; the figures match closely the results from France, Germany, Japan and the USA.

An analysis of 153 write-in answers from the UK survey reveals that for one-third of women the end of the day wine is drunk in the bath.

Nearly nine out of ten wine purchases are from supermarkets (88%) and specialist wine shops (85%). One third (36%) said they bought wine on the internet. Both the level of supermarket and of internet purchases are higher than expected.

Price determines women's choice of wine (74 %) followed by the grape variety (64%) the country of origin (55 %) or the label or packaging (42 %).

Women's degree of knowledge and self-confidence about wine is revealed by the way they make their wine selection. Six out of ten (61 %) said they chose on their own. Women in the UK are noticeably more independent in their choice than women elsewhere in the world.

Five out of ten (51 %) would look for advice from a newspaper or magazine or would consult a friend (47%). One in five would consult the internet (28%) or, when dining out, a wine waiter (22 %).

Wine is mostly drunk at the dinner table (85%) or in front of the television (84%). Stemware of wine - glassware or decanter - is considered important for the occasion.

Mr Robert Beynat, Chief Executive of Vinexpo, said: The role of women in wine buying and the depth of their knowledge has been vastly underestimated. This is as true for other countries as it is for Britain. It is often assumed, for example, that women drink white wine and rosé rather than red whereas this research shows the contrary.

He added: The message for wine marketers is clear: cherchez la femme if you want to sell.

* Women Wine, a study of 4306 women in France, Germany, UK, Japan and the USA, was undertaken between January and March 2009 among the readers of Decanter and Livingetc (UK), L'Express (France), Focus (Germany), Elle (Japan) and Wine Spectator (USA).

Vinexpo is held in Bordeaux from June 21 - June 25, 2009

For further information contact: Eugene Bacot, +44(0)20-7731-4526, Colin Lewis, +44(0)20-7731-4489, V O I C E, Riverbank House, 1 Putney Bridge Approach, London SW6 3JD.