The Beverage Information Group's newly released 2009 handbook has encouraging news for those in the US wine industry.

In 2008, for the fifteenth consecutive year, wine purchases and consumption increased, though not by quite as much as in recent years.

The growth is being driven by a continuing link in the public's mind between limited wine drinking and health benefits: reducing the chances of heart disease, cancer (due to anti-oxidants, especially in red wine) and stroke.

It is also being driven by the Millennial generation (roughly those who have been aged 20 during this decade) who are more experimental with their wine drinking and keen to try different kinds of wine which older drinkers might leave on the shelf.

Overall American wine drinking has increased 0.9% to 294.7 million 9-litre cases, though the trends have changed from recent years with more home grown wine drunk and less imported.

Whilst previously wine imports were driving the growth, they have actually dropped 1.8% and domestic wine has increased 1.9%. This is partly due to the weakening dollar.

This news dovetails with that from the fine and rare end of the worldwide market.

The Liv-Ex 100 index of fine wines has also been continuing to grow at a steady rate through from September 2008 to 2009, which should give confidence to those interested in wine investment that the market is solid. 

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