IT used to be Granny’s favourite Christmas tipple, but UK drinkers are calling time on Spanish sherry.
British sales of fortified wines have more than than halved in the last decade.
The number of bottles sold has plummeted from 22 million in 2005 to just 10 million last year, according to The Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA).
Miles Beale, chief executive of the WSTA, called for a tax cut on imported wine.
“Whether it’s the sherry shared as an aperitif or left out for Santa, a port to accompany the cheese course at the end of Christmas lunch or vermouth shaken or stirred in a classic martini – these drinks have been enjoyed by the British for centuries,” he said.
“It would be incredibly sad to see the British traditions associated with these drinks, which have been passed down through the generations, disappear.”
Fortified wine duty has risen by 53% since 2007, adding a pound to a bottle of sherry.
However, fine sherries like fino and manzanilla have seen their popularity grow among British younger drinkers in recent years.
Sainsbury’s reported that sales of premium sherries were up 14% from last year.