USA becomes the biggest wine consuming country! We’re #1!!!

usa wine

We did it! Congratulations, America! According to analysts Gomberg, Fredrikson, we are now the biggest wine consuming country in the world! USA! USA! (hat tip: winebusiness.com)

We’ve overcome challenges as a country. Even a scant four decades ago our parents had trouble finding good wine here. And our domestic wine industry, which makes about two-thirds of wines sold here today and is the fourth largest in the world, had yet to reach acclaim on the world stage. But now we put away more of the stuff than France and Italy despite the fact that we can’t easily buy wine via stores on the internet. Triumph over adversity, part deux!

What with a large domestic population, it’s understandable that we could do it. But we still need to work on that per capita consumption rate, where we’re currently below the likes of Ireland and Equatorial Guinea. So let’s raise a glass in honor of America!

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24 Responses to “USA becomes the biggest wine consuming country! We’re #1!!!”


  1. Congratulations, USA! :)


  2. Yes, as you say, you do need to work on the per capita consumption.

    After all, there are just two of us – and even WE beat Equatorial Guinea…


  3. The cheers here in Chicago on this St. Patty’s day are loud and persistent. It seems though that they might be shouting “Mus-ca-det, Mus-ca-det”. I’ll have to go inspect later tonight.


  4. Yes, but isn’t it mostly WHITE ZINFANDEL we’ve scored with??


  5. YAY!!!!


  6. So how much is the US per capita wine consumption exactly?


  7. Hey, I’ve been doin’ my part for the last ten years!


  8. Congrats to everyone doing their part!

    Lyman – yes, well, we weren’t talking quality, just quantity.

    Jessika – please click on the last link for the pdf for a table of the world per capita data on wine consumption. According to that document, compiled by the Wine Institute, Americans consume 9.68 liters per person. However, when I spoke with Jon Fredrikson recently, he told me that he thinks that number actually understates US consumption.


  9. This report is misleading. It talks about cases shipped to or in the U.S, which doesn’t necessarily translate directly to consumption.
    I’m a wine educator and my teaching notes say that the U.S falls way short of France in per-capita consumption and in production. The U.S, at the beginning of 2010, was in 60th place with a per-capita consumption of 2.3 gal/person compared to France at 14.8 gal/person. In regards to production, the U.S was in 4th place with 659 million gallons produced compared to France, who was in 1st, at 1.52 Billion gallons produced.

    If the 330 million cases number is accurate that means the U.S produced 2.9 Billion gallons of wine and more than Quadrupled its production in one year. There is no way….something is not quite right about this report by the wine institute.

    My data is from International Wine Guild certification data which is updated yearly if not earlier when new data is available. This link contradicts the wine institutes own story. According to them, the total U.S production was 707 Million gallons in 2009. Again the U.S would have had to Quadruple its production in one year to make this report accurate. http://www.wineinstitute.org/resources/statistics/article83


  10. Okay Daniel, let’s see. each case is 9 liters. therefore each case is about 2.4 gallons. So we consumed 2.4 x 330 million = 792 million gallons. I have no idea how you equated the US having produced 2.9 billion gallons as a result. Did I miss that? (I mean it, I’d like to know)

    The larger point is… production has absolutely zero to do with consumption. So what if we produced 600 or 700 million gallons? Production numbers have absolutely nothing to do with this claim. Neither does per capita for that matter, unless you phrase it so. In terms of absolutes, we consume more cases than France. And by the way, if this report uses the metric “cases shipped” what’s wrong with that? It applies the exact same metric across the board, France included. I fail to see the gist of your argument here. But I’m always up for learning more. Please explain.


  11. Congratulations – I’ve been trying to do my part for Europe, but you guys are difficult to beat ;)

    FYI: Italy doesn’t have great access to online wine purchasing either – at least you guys have wine.com (which seems good enough to me)


  12. [...] Vino reports that America is now the “biggest wine consuming country in the world!” Go [...]


  13. I want to know what’s going on in the Vatican- that’s a LOT of sacramental wine!


  14. Ahhh… That makes since now. I see my mistake. I didn’t convert my milliliters into gallons correctly. Your right, it is 2.3 gallons/case not 9. What a careless mistake, hence me not being a math expert.

    I agree that the report does not discuss explicitly per-capita consumption or production but in order to get a full picture of what is really going on in the U.S compared to the rest of the world you have to look at these numbers in addition to consumption as well as import/export numbers. Being the number one consumer is definitely a step in the right direction for the U.S wine industry, it really shows our potential for growth. In addition, it shows that wine is being consumed by people who typically haven’t drank wine in the past as their primary libation; not to mention that people who have always drank wine regularly are consuming more wine now.

    As far as the Vatican, with a population of 800 or so they are the largest per-capita consumer of wine in the world at 59 liters/person/year= 15.5 gallons/person/year.

    Thank Morvino for the correction.


  15. Yeah! So excited about this report! Now let’s go for production as well! :)


  16. Cheers!
    I know that here in VT we are doing our part per capita, but there are not so many of us!


  17. Glad to see someone else is excited about the wino movement in America. Very cool stat!


  18. [...] We’re Number 1. [...]


  19. Hmm, I’ve switched to wine folks, one more vote for europe! *de-corking-bottle-sound* =)


  20. I personally believe my recent achievement of 100 grapes definitely played a part :)


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  22. [...] is becoming more popular in congressional districts every year across America as we are now the thirstiest wine country in the world. Also, wine in America is frustratingly intertwined with political machinations. Since it’s [...]


  23. [...] For many wine consumers, the selection suffers and prices are higher at the same time wine has become more popular than ever. I get into more details in my book; I hope Burns can highlight these lingering effects; he paid no [...]


  24. [...] saw the first episode (available here online) entitled” A Nation of drunks, “which chronicles the social and political forces [...]


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