A TRIP to the off licence for a bottle of wine could soon be seen as a luxury.
But a new poll carried out by YouGov for local wine merchant, JNwine.com, shows that even though many consumers in Northern Ireland plan to spend less this year, most are reluctant to forego their love of wine during the festive season.
The JNwine.com survey asked more than 1,000 adults aged 18 to 64 from Northern Ireland if they planned to reconsider their shopping and drinking habits this Christmas compared to last year.
More than a third (38 per cent) admitted they plan to spend less on Christmas this year. However, only 14 per cent said they will consume less wine over the upcoming Christmas period.
More than a quarter of respondents (26%) said that they will focus on cheaper wines and those on special offers over the festive season.
This Christmas the average wine drinker would be prepared to spend £7.10 on a bottle of wine from a shop for Christmas Day this year.
The poll also found that men are slightly more willing to splash out on a pricier bottle of wine with over a quarter (26 per cent) prepared to spend £8 or more on a bottle compared to 18 per cent of women.
“Although many consumers are having a rethink about their spending plans this year, it appears few seem willing to give up the pleasure of a well-earned glass of wine with family and friends at Christmas,” says James Nicholson, Managing Director of Crossgar-based JNwine.com.
“The fact is that customers are more motivated to seek out options that are pleasing on both the palate and the wallet.
“For those willing to explore, there are some great deals to be had with more varieties, grapes and producers now on the shelves.
“Online shopping has made it easier to access a wider selection and many merchants, including ourselves, provide free delivery on cases of 12 bottles or more to help reduce costs. It also saves time for people at what is always a very busy time of year for everyone.”
JNwine.com, which offers more than 1,000 different wines online, suggests wine lovers consider the following tips to make sure that the hard-earned cash goes further.
TIPS FOR BUYING WINE:
Ask for advice: Northern Ireland has a vast selection of wine on offer. Visiting a wine shop can be daunting and confusing whether it be online or in your local shopping centre. Ask the staff for help, they should be trained to help you with your selection whether it is for pairing with a specialist menu or just for relaxing in front of the fire.
Shop around: Where possible use independent wine merchants. You will find interesting bottles from producers too small to make it onto the shelves of the supermarkets. Often the merchant will have an in depth knowledge on the wines stocked and will have chosen them personally.
Try before you buy: Shop tastings are a good way to find your style and are normally free. This year, the Crossgar team is conducting free tastings on selected wines from the JNwine.com Christmas portfolio on Saturday 8th and 15th December from 12.00pm to 5.00pm. Everyone welcome.