The good ol’ US of A has finally achieved the most lofty of honors: we have the largest wine market on the globe. And we even beat out France — yes, France — for the very first time this year.
According to the International Organization of Wine and Vine (OIV), Americans bought 29.1 million hectoliters of wine last year, which is a small but significant .5 percent rise from last year’s numbers. On the other hand, the French bought seven percent less wine than they did the previous year.
As far as actual drinks consumed per person, however, Americans fall short. The average French person drinks about 1.2 bottles of wine per week, which is almost six times that of the average American. Surprisingly (or maybe not?), the world leader for most wine consumed per capita is the Vatican. Behind the U.S. and France, Italy, German and China rank have the next-largest wine markets, but all three nations saw decreased wine consumption last year. Across the globe, wine consumption fell by one percent last year. The OIV attributes the change to a shift in drinking habits. European nations like France, Italy and Spain have been consuming less wine over time, and while American wine drinkers start at a lower level consumption, they tend to choose quality wine over quantity.
I will take this to mean that I no longer have to feel guilty about late-night Barefoot purchases at CVS, because obviously I’m doing a patriotic duty.
[Image of wine glasses via Shutterstock]