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Published:  23 July, 2008

The Wine Trade Action Group Binge Drinking Research' has found that wine is not yet a significant factor in binge drinking', but identified a number of factors which are likely to increase wine usage in binge drinking situations'. The study - produced by independent research bodies Ipsos UK and SIRC/MCM Research - was commissioned to understand and explore attitudes, behaviours and repertoires in relation to binge drinking and, in particular, the wine that role plays in it'. Concentrating on the 18-34 age group, where binge drinking is most prevalent, the study found that binge drinking is commonplace and cuts across social economic groups and age ranges (within the sample age group). Males were, however, more likely to binge drink than females. Wine's main role in binge drinkers' repertoire is as an early-evening mood enhancer', after which most binge drinkers move on to spirits and beer. Although wine made up 27% of the units in drinkers of this age group's normal repertoire, when on a binge (eight units plus) it constituted, on average, just 15% of the total units consumed. Those binge drinkers that continued to drink wine were generally found to be female, white-collar (although a broad sweep from secretaries to lawyers) and predominantly at-home drinkers. Factors that could be influencing the uptake of wine as part of binge drinking repertoires were: increased availability in pubs and bars; modern wine styles that are easier to consume; wine can offer better value than other forms of alcohol, particularly when on promotion; wine is often promoted in bars and pubs (buy two glasses get the rest of the bottle free); and servings are now much larger (up to 250ml).