Red wine is set to drive wine growth over the next five years, according to a report out yesterday, with sales reaching a value of US$82 billion by 2007.

Still red wine is forecast to exhibit by far the fastest growth in both volume and value terms between 2002 and 2007, research produced by the drinks analyst Euromonitor says.

The survey forecasts that global red wine sales will increase to a value of US$82 billion in 2007, a rise of 31% from 2002. Global volume sales, meanwhile, are expected to see an increase of 22% to 13 billion litres over the same period.

"The sector's performance will continue to be driven by rising consumer health-consciousness and red wine's cultured image, which will grow in significance as consumers become increasingly knowledgeable about wine and its compatibility with a range of food. Even in markets as developed as Germany, for example, sales are being boosted by the fact that red wine complements the increasingly popular southern European cuisine," said Euromonitor. 

In contrast, however, still red wine in Argentina will record the fastest rate of decline as harsh macroeconomic conditions severely limit consumer purchasing power.

Largely as a result of the continued rise of the still red sector, white and rosé wines will experience sluggish global volume sales over the period. However, increasing consumer sophistication is expected to lead a rise in demand for higher value products in the still white and rose sectors, the report said.