Wine consumption in the US rose by around 1% in 2008, according to the Beverage Information Group's newly released 2009 Wine Handbook.

Americans drank 294.7m nine-litre cases of wine during the 12 months of 2008, the group said this week.

The increase in consumption slowed from previous years, but 2008 still represents the 15th year of consecutive growth.

Domestic wine producers benefited from a weaker US$, which put them at an advantage to foreign producers in attempting to tap a trend for lower priced wines.

"The 70m people that make up the "Millennial" generation (aged 21 to 30) are changing perceptions of wine," said the Beverage Information Group. "This generation is not as sophisticated about wine as preceding generations and is willing to experiment with wines at lower price points."

Consumers have also traded down on wine due to the recession in the US.

The country is expected to become the world's largest wine consumer by 2012, according to research published by the organisers of Vinexpo, the world's largest wine trade show.

For a copy of the 2009 Wine Handbook, visit beveragehandbooks.com.