Wine is the preferred alcoholic drink for consumers in the UK, according to a survey commissioned by the Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA).

The survey, published to coincide with this week's London International Wine Fair, saw white wine emerge as the number one drink of choice, the WSTA said on Saturday (9 May).

According to the survey, which was carried out by research group Wine Intelligence, one in three (34%) UK consumers who drink alcohol said they prefer wine, compared to just over one in four (27%) who expressed a preference for beer and one in five (20%) who prefer spirits.

Asked to name what they drink, over half (54%) of all UK adults said they drink white wine, with 48% saying beer and 47% saying red wine.  RosĂ© wine is next in the league table with over a third (35%) saying they drink it.

When alcohol drinkers were asked to specify why they like certain drinks, they put wine top in terms of taste (77%), as a relaxing drink without food (75%) and good with food (89%).  Beer comes top as the drink for outdoor occasions (75%), just ahead of wine (69%).

Brian Howard, of Wine Intelligence, said: "This survey provides the most up-to-date and possibly the most comprehensive picture of who drinks what across alcohol categories in the UK. One thing is clear: wine is a strong and stable fixture in UK adult social life."