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Australians turn their backs on imported sparkling wine in favour of home grown fizz

Published:  01 November, 2013

The prospects for Australian sparkling wine are looking rosy, thanks to a weakening dollar which has forced the cost of imported wines up, according to new research from Wine Intelligence.

The findings reveal that due to the higher prices for imported sparkling wine an increasing number of Australians are turning to home produced fizz, which is already consumed at least once a month by 95% of sparkling wine consumers.

Given that Australian sparkling wine is already highly regarded by Aussies, and considered to be better value and of a higher quality than Italian Prosecco, Cava, New Zealand sparkling wine and other rival imports, it's an obvious choice for Australian consumers to switch to locally produced wine.

"Although sparkling wines from Spain, Italy and New Zealand do have a following in Australia, they tend to be enjoyed by the more involved wine drinkers, rather than the mainstream," said Lulie Halstead, chief executive of Wine Intelligence. "The good news for Australian sparkling wine is that it is seen as being good quality, almost on a par with French Champagne.  And certainly a step above the quality of sparkling wine produced by other export countries."

Other report findings include:

? The sparkling wine market in Australia has broad appeal with 8.1M consumers who drink sparkling wine at least once per year, of whom 4.3M drink sparkling wine at least once per month.

? Imports are taking a larger share of sales and driving the small levels of growth, and appeal in particular to younger and more involved drinkers.

? Australian sparkling has an enduring reputation for quality, far higher than any import, apart from Champagne where quality expectations are near comparable

* Stronger prospects for lower cost imported sparkling wines as economy cools and AU$ weakens, although some negative perceptions of the taste of imported sparkling wine to overcome.