Wine production is spreading worldwide. Nevertheless, France remains the mother of all wine producing countries. This is almost a religion for French people. But the landscape is evolving -yes, even in the country of Petrus and Romanée-Conti – with some recent studies showing that the drinking habits of this precious nectar have changed a lot over the last few years.

Red wine is losing share of the wine market to white and rosé. This is a strong trend.

In fact, between 1990 and 2013, according to the September 2017 issue of the French magazine Science et vie, red wine consumption went down from 78% of the national market to 54%, while consumption of rosé has increased from 11% to 29% and white wine from 11% to 17%. You will easily see this evolution of the market by walking around the wine aisles of any French supermarket. The room given to white and rosé wine is becoming bigger every year.

How to explain this huge turn?

First of all, the French society, as the whole occidental world, had changed a lot. Our relation with time is completely different. With access to the internet, people are permanently connected so they can work, play, and buy all the time. Obviously, this leaves less time to cook or at least to have a proper meal on regular basis. A little more complex red wine is always better with a proper dish than on the go or during an “apéro”. Also, in the same spirit of changing pace, we are less keen to wait several years for a wine to mature before we open a bottle. While rosé and white are usually less demanding.

Which brings us to the second explanation, the lack of space. Indeed, a good red wine will also ask for more attention and will more often require a storage in a good environment. But it is difficult to have a proper cellar when the price of real estate is this high in Paris or London!

And finally, the last explanation is provided by women. They hold a big share of this market. According to a study made by a specialized website MyVitibox and published in the French newspaper Le Figaro, in 2013 , 65% of wine purchases in France were made by women. Contrary to what we think they don’t prefer white wine, they just love lighter wine than men do. This doesn’t help the sale of red wine, which is usually stronger in alcohol.

As in many religions we can only hope that god will somehow save the French red wine!

Bien à vous!

P