The U.S. wine market reached 344.7 million nine-liter cases in 2017, an increase of 1%, according to the Beverage Information Group’s “2018 Wine Handbook,” down from a 2.4% gain in 2016. The report speculates the decrease is “perhaps a sign of the category’s struggle to compete with spirits and beer for share of beverage alcohol occasions.” As with the previous year, sparkling wines – up 5.8% in 2017 – drove the growth. This marked the 16th consecutive year of increases for the total sparkling category. Strong sales of rosé and wines in the $15+ per-bottle price points also contributed: Consumers have discovered that sparkling wines are not just for special occasions and rosés are not just for warm weather. Table wine saw modest growth of 0.8% to 311.8 million cases sold in 2017, led by a 1.2% increase of imported wines.