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U.S. is tops in something--wine consumption

February 01, 2013|By S. Irene Virbila
  • The annual Vinexpo wine and spirits exhibition in Bordeaux draws wine professionals from all over the world.
The annual Vinexpo wine and spirits exhibition in Bordeaux draws wine professionals… (Vinexpo )

Ha! The quality of our healthcare may not be universally admired. Our education may be falling behind. But on one front, the United States still leads. 

A survey by Vinexpo of current trends in the international wine and spirits market gives us the top spot for wine consumption in the world. Quoting the study, in 2011 “the U.S. became the leading wine consuming nation in volume and value in the world, ahead of France and Italy.” Yes!

In fact, our consumption went up 4.5% in one year, a record. When the economy’s bad, that glass of wine looks awfully good. We are also the leading consumer market in the world for wines priced at more than $10 per bottle. Take that, Two-Buck Chuck (or since the price hike last week,  Two-and-a-half-buck Chuck)!

Other interesting numbers gleaned by the study: 40% of all sparkling wines drunk in the U.S. are imported; White wines account for 40.5% of the still wines drunk by Americans (that surprised me. I would have thought there were many more red wine drinkers out there); but there’s hope: “In 2016, Americans are expected to drink 18% more red wine than in 2012."

One bottle out of four drunk in the U.S. was imported.

Here’s something I think which is really significant: China just moved ahead of us to become third-largest red wine-consuming country. That’s big.

For those who want to know, the study was commissioned from the IWSR (International Wine and Spirit Research) Consulting Group for Vinexpo, the international exhibition of wine and spirits held each year in Bordeaux, France.


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