UK wine drinkers are drinking less and losing interest in the category, according to research.

A report from research company Wine Intelligence, released today (16 September) has claimed that the UK's 28m regular wine drinkers are pouring a glass an average of 9.5 times per month, down from the 11 times per month recorded in the same study three years ago.

In the same period, their average spend per bottle in the off-trade has risen by GBP0.29 from GBP4.69 (US$7.29) to GBP4.98. The study notes, however, that this could be accounted for by the GBP0.33 per bottle increase in excise duty over the same period.

The fall in consumption per person has been offset, however,  by an increase in the UK regular wine drinking population - defined as adults drinking wine at least once a month. This pool has grown by 5m since 2007, and now stands at abouty 28 million adults.

“These findings suggest that the UK wine industry has been good at recruiting new drinkers to the category, but has been less successful at turning them into involved wine consumers,” said Lulie Halstead, CEO of Wine Intelligence.

“We as an industry are successful at getting people to try wine, but not fostering their need to understand wine,” Halstead continued. “This needs to change if we are going to have a sustainable wine market in the UK in the future.”

The data for the 'UK Portraits 2010' study was collected between March and June this year from online surveys of 3,085 regular wine drinkers in the country.