Young people are increasingly celebrating special occasions at home with a bottle of wine – but are baffled by the large choice on offer in supermarkets, according to new research.

More than half of 18-24 year-olds (55%) drink at home to mark a special event compared to just 41% of all UK in-home drinkers, a Mintel poll of 2,000 adults found.

A fifth of 18-24 year olds claim to be entertaining more at home than ever, before suggesting young drinkers are being driven indoors in times of austerity.

But while they drink less wine than any other age group, they spend the most on plonk - splashing out on average of £8.35 per bottle, compared to £6.01 spent by regular wine drinkers.

Over a fifth of 18-34s believe the large wine selection in supermarkets makes buying too complicated compared to just one in 10 over-34s. And half admit that without discounting they would probably buy less wine than they do.

Mintel senior drinks analyst Jonny Forsyth said 18-24 year-olds were using price as a barometer of quality due to a lack of knowledge and experience of wine.

“The discounting strategy of major multiples may be controversial but it is a key purchase driver in such a fragmented market place,” he said.

“That older drinkers spend less on wine reflects in part their greater knowledge of the sector – meaning they can rely on quality cues other than price when making a purchasing decision.

“But they also drink wine more habitually and less for special occasions, meaning a need to keep to a tighter budget.”

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