Wine consumption by country

Published: January 11, 2015 1:34 AM

You would be wrong. Small countries with small populations rise to the top when it comes to per capita consumption.

IF SOMEONE were to ask you which country consumes the most wine per capita, you would immediately think of France, Spain, Italy or the US, maybe China. You would be wrong. Small countries with small populations rise to the top when it comes to per capita consumption. The latest list, released by California’s Wine Institute, shows that the tiny sovereign city-state of Vatican City wins the top spot. Vatican City consumes on average 62.2 litres of wine per person per year, or almost 83 bottles.

The total population of Vatican City is 842 people, including the Pope. Quite a tipsy lot one would imagine, but maybe it’s because of all that communion wine distributed during mass. The top 10 wine consuming countries include another microstate—Andorra. Located in central Europe, its 78,000-strong population consumes over 46 litres per capita. Between an extensive production of pinot noir, and being located in the middle of Spain and France, wine drinking is a big part of the culture. As it is in Slovenia, also in the top 10. This southern-central European country has a proud wine heritage and on average a Slovenian drinks 43 litres of wine a year. Slovenia’s Goriska Brda red wine is fairly well-known in the region, but the country’s big attraction is Old Vine, the oldest grapevine in the world. It is over 400 years old, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, and still produces grapes. Perhaps the most interesting country in the top 10 list is St Pierre et Miquelon, an island off the eastern coast of Canada that is French territory. The small island has a population of a little more than 5,000, but with a reputation for wine drinking, thanks to its French heritage. However, nothing is made
locally, the remote island gets all its supplies air-dropped from France, including the wine!

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