D&D, which sells over half a million bottles of wine in its UK restaurants each year, analysed its sales information and gathered feedback from customers and sommeliers.
It said average bottle spend continues to increase across its London restaurants and was up 6.5 per cent year-on-year over the December trading period last year, as a result of ‘customer choice’ rather than price changes.
The group’s Angler, Orrery, Butler's Wharf Chophouse, Launceston Place and Bluebird restaurants saw average wine spend rocket by 10 per cent.
Meanwhile, sales of champagne and sparkling wine at D&D’s Leeds restaurants are outpacing sales at its London establishments.
The group said that 37 per cent of wine sales at Crafthouse and Angelica in the new Trinity Leeds centre are now champagne and sparkling wine. Well-known brands including Veuve Cliquot, Moet & Chandon and Laurent Perrier Rosé are the most popular, although its house champagne, Devaux, is also a best-seller and Prosecco is rising in popularity.
Of its London restaurants, the Bluebird sells the most champagne, which accounts for 37 per cent of all wine sold at the restaurant.
Olivier Marie, head sommelier at Coq d’Argent, and winner of the 2011 Imbibe Wine List of the Year competition, said: “Our guests are increasingly knowledgeable about wine so these days they are more likely to want to pay a little more to try something better and expand their palate.
“I also have no hesitation in putting more obscure wines on the list because people are really keen to discover new regions and producers.”
Meanwhile, sales data from the group’s New Street Wine Shop suggests that Londoners are becoming more adventurous with wine from lesser-known regions.
Claudio Martins, manager at New Street Wine Shop, said: “We are definitely finding that customers are getting more curious and adventurous, so I am increasingly selling wines from lesser-known wine countries like Brazil, Turkey and Uruguay.”
D&D predicted that the upcoming FIFA World Cup could further boost the popularity of Brazilian wine.
Last year, BigHospitality spoke to some of the UK’s top sommelliers, asking them to share their thoughts on some of the most exciting wine regions.
Israel, New York and Sicily were identified as some of the hottest upcoming regions, while our experts also spoke of a comeback by Australian wines and improved quality coming out of Chile and Argentina.