Bern, Switzerland (GenevaLunch) – The Swiss drank more French champagne and more bottled wine from Italy, and especially more imported red wine in 2009, a year where the global economic crisis appears to have had a curious impact on wine consumption in the country. Imports rose by 3.4 percent in 2009, after falling in 2008, with Italy remaining the largest exporter to Switzerland, accounting for 37 percent of imported wine. Bulk white wines, imported mainly from Italy but bottled in Switzerland, fell by 5.4 percent while bottled white wine from the southern neighbour rose by 5.9 percent, indicating a shift in consumer habits, with growing interest in domain wines from abroad.
Consumption rose more slowly than imports, with stocks increasing.
New world wines lag well behind European imports, with France in second place, 23 percent, and Spain in third, 20 percent of imports. France is the leader in value terms, with 36 percent of the import market, thanks to the price of champagne. Imports from Germany and Chile were up strongly, while South African wine imports fell.
Total wine consumption in Switzerland slipped by 0.9 percent to 2.8 million hectolitres, with a fall in Swiss wine consumption, down by 49,030 hectolitres, playing a key role. A hectolitre equals 100 litres and is used to measure wine consumption in Europe.
Swiss German wine consumption rose, while French-speaking Switzerland’s wines slipped on the home market, the opposite of the situation in 2008.