Wines sales in Britain have seen a 30% increase in five years as a rising number of women opt for wine instead of beer, according to the latest report by market analyst Mintel.

Britons drank more than a billion litres of wine in 2004, which is a 27% increase since 1999, and analysts say that the British wine market could exceed £10bn by 2009, from its current £7.6bn a year.

Sixty-nine per cent of women say they drink wine compared to 62% of men, but when it comes to drinking outside of the home 36% of women opt for white wine compared to 21% of men, and 31% of women choose red wine compared to 24% of men.

New World wines continue to see an increased demand from UK consumers, while French suppliers are beginning to look at ways to change their marketing to compete.