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Covid fuels Portuguese thirst for premium wine

Published:  11 March, 2021

The Covid-19 pandemic has added fuel to a trend among regular Portuguese wine drinkers for more expensive wines, according to the latest Portugal Wine Landscapes 2021 report from Wine Intelligence.

Despite on-trade closures and a lack of tourists, Portugal’s wine industry still had some winners in terms of premiumisation and increased wine drinking occasions throughout 2020, the report found, with consumers stating higher spending across many occasions, both at-home and when able to visit restaurants and bars.

Conversely, the pandemic has reversed the moderation trend that had been evolving quickly pre-Covid in Portugal. 

“Consumers wanted to moderate their consumption and were focused on their health and wellbeing. As in many other markets, this moderation trend reversed in 2020,” said Luis Osorio, author of the report.  

The report also found that the Portuguese wine drinking population now contains more weekly drinkers and fewer monthly wine drinkers, with consumers saying they are drinking more wine than other types of beverages. 

Lockdowns were also pinpointed as having created more moments for wine drinking, a trend seen across the globe, as wine has been a little luxurious treat while going out and travelling were limited. 

“Portuguese regular wine consumers are no exception, drinking wine across more occasions now than a year ago, be it wine that was already in the cellar or wine that was bought, and from a broader range of channels,” said Osorio. 

The research also suggests that the biggest growth in wine consumption came from those in the 18-34 and 35-49 year old age brackets. 

Portugal Wine Landscapes 2021 will be published later this week.  

Earlier this week, Wine Intelligence research suggested the no/low wine category is struggling to meet the benchmark of what wine should taste like.