Oz no longer nation of beer drinkers as most prefer wine

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Melbourne, Jan 19 (ANI): A survey on alcohol consumption in Australia has revealed that it no longer is a nation of beer drinkers, with more and more people preferring to drink wine.

New estimates suggest that 107 litres of beer was drunk per person over 15 years of age in the year to June 2009, well down from a peak exceeding 190 litres in the mid-1970s.

But they downed an all-time record of 29 litres of wine, double of what they drank in the mid-'70s.

The nation's alcohol intake has been climbing, in part because wine contains more alcohol than beer and in part because the alcohol content of wine has been climbing while the alcohol in beer has been dropping.

Pushing alcohol consumption up has seen a relentless increase in the alcohol content of wine, from around 11 percent in the 1970s to 13 percent today.

"You can't get a red under 14 percent, pretty much," the Age quoted Tanya Chikritzhs of the National Drug Research Institute, as saying.

"It's part of an international trend towards richer tastes," she stated.

Winemakers can boost their alcohol content without a tax penalty as wine is taxed by volume and price rather content, a concession the Henry tax review recommended abolishing.

By contrast, beer manufacturers are cutting their alcohol content to cope with a steadily rising indexed alcohol tax. (ANI)

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