Key French names are 'ahead of game'

France is still ahead of the game in terms of delivering great value and will win back market share, according to Thierry's buying director Dominique Vrigneau.

"Although France is underperforming in the entry-level categories below £4, it excels at delivering great value wines at the higher price points much better than any of its competitors," said Vrigneau.

"French wines resonate with the consumer at higher price points over other popular country categories."

He said that despite short vintages in regions such as Muscadet and Beaujolais having an impact on volumes, French producers have risen to the challenge of fighting competition from the New World by making wines that are specifically tailored to UK consumers.

"Their marketing has become sharper and more sophisticated and their packaging focuses on the core strengths of heritage and diversity," he said.

"With people now eating out less and dining in more, France is very well placed to win back market share.

"France may not have as many brands as, say, Australia, but its regions are so strongly recognisable that they have become brands in themselves."