Americans are drinking more wine than ever - and smaller brands led the market in growth last year according to industry figures.

The Wine Market Impact Databank Review and Forecast showed that while 28 brands sold over 2m cases in 2005 for a combined increase of 1%, labels selling under 1m nine-litre cases topped US market growth for the first time in three years.

Overall consumption reached 279m cases - a record high and 3.3% increase - with smaller brands growing at double that rate. The Adams Wine Handbook reported that per capita consumption increased to 9.9 litres, the highest since 1988. Imports accounted for a 5.6% increase while domestic wines rose just 0.9 percent.