The metabotropic glutamate receptor 5 (mGlu5) has been implicated in ethanol- and drug-seeking behaviours in rodent studies. Here we examine a number of ethanol-related behavioural assays in mice lacking mGlu5 and wild-type littermates. In a two-bottle free-choice paradigm, mGlu5-deficient mice consumed less ethanol with a reduced preference compared to wild-type mice. Indeed, mGlu5-deficienct mice were ethanol-avoiding at both concentrations of ethanol proffered (5% and 10% v/v). However, there was no difference in the rate of hepatic ethanol and acetaldehyde metabolism between genotypes and consumption of saccharin was similar. In a conditioned place preference study, mGlu5-deficient mice displayed a place preference for ethanol when conditioned with a low dose (1g/kg) of ethanol. Thus, while mGlu5-deficient mice consume less ethanol (with a reduced preference) than wild-type mice, this is not apparently related to impaired hepatic metabolism or a lack of reward from ethanol. Rather, we provide evidence that deletion of the mGlu5 receptor increases sensitivity to centrally mediated effects of ethanol.