UK wine drinkers are consuming less red and more white and rosé wines, according to new research.

The Consumer Intelligence survey for the WSTA showed the numbers of wine drinkers drinking red have dipped in the last three months from 78% to 72%. Consumers said that the amount of red wine they drink as a proportion of total wine consumption is also down, from 44% to 40%.

Yet the amount of white and rosé wines consumed has increased over the past quarter, with white wine up from 40% to 43%, and rosé up from 16% to 18%.

In the white wine category the popularity of Pinot Grigio has continued to grow, with numbers recording drinking it in the previous six months up from 47% in October last year to 54% now. It has overtaken Sauvignon Blanc as the second most popular white wine varietal, behind Chardonnay.

Researchers believe the shift in drinking patterns stretches beyond the customary summer boost for lighter wine styles.

"These findings are consistent with other research and industry indicators suggesting consumers are edging away from some of the more traditional red wines on formal occasions towards lighter wines in casual settings. We will be monitoring these measures closely to see if future surveys confirm an ongoing trend," said Brian Howard of Wine Intelligence.