The internet will be crucial to the future of the wine trade with worldwide sales on the web climbing from one million bottles in 1999 to 15 million by 2005. This is one of the predictions of a report on the industry commissioned by the London International Wine Fair. Fair director Andrew Evans said the market was set to explode as the big retailers target cyberspace. They have the benefit of high street names, established supply chains and expertise in local markets. He suggested the established web sites held little threat as 92% of internet orders are still bought and delivered nationally. The UK retailers are showing the way with Safeway's Easi-Order and the 200 PalmPilot computers offered to its best customers. Tesco Online has 25,000 products on offer, has registered 250,000 customers and is estimated to turn over £125m a year. In France Promedès/ Carrefour has launched La-cle-de-lacave.com, and Casino, Cora and Intermarche will introduce web sites this year. The report cautioned that wine sales were facing a number of issues including differing international taxes, regulations as well as storage regimes. {{DRINKS }}