Sure, if you look at the California Wine Institute list of top wine consuming countries in the world it may come up with the usual suspects: France, Italy, and the United States. But if you organize that list by wine consumption per person, there are some very surprising results. Countries like Slovenia and Croatia top the list, whereas Italy doesn’t even make the top 10.
The per capita wine consumption list proves that just because your country or municipality has a population smaller than most rural American towns, it doesn’t mean that emptying your wine bottle is any less important.
This Southern-Central European country is proud of its wine heritage, and on average a Slovenian drank 43 litres of wine in 2012. They are known for their Goriška Brda red wine and in the Štajerska region, their white wine. But tourists from around the world like to visit the oldest grape vine in the world. Known as Old Vine, it’s more than 400 years old, according to both wine experts in Paris and the Guinness Book of World Records, and still grows wine-producing grapes.
#4) St. Pierre et Miquelon
St. Pierre et Miquelon is a French territory just off the Eastern coast of Canada. The small island has a population of a little more than 5,000, but with a large reputation for wine drinking. And with imported wine, croissants, and endives being air-dropped in regularly from its mother country, this makes a lot of sense!
Ah, yes the country you have been looking for. Amidst the Slovenias, Croatias and tiny island principalities, France still reigns supreme when it comes to wine consumption. France comes in at number three on our list, with a typical Frenchman consuming more than 44 litres of wine in 2012. More than 7 billion bottles of wine are produced in France every year, among those, the Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and of course, champagne from France’s Champagne region. Wine consumption has actually dropped considerably in France since the 1990s, leaving the country with no choice but to pump up international trading.
The landlocked microstate of Andorra, located in Central Europe makes up for its tiny 78,000 population with a strong appetite for wine: over 46 litres consumed per capita in 2012. For wine lovers, living in Andorra must be paradise. Between an extensive production of pinot noir, as well as being located right smack in the middle of Spain and France, wine drinking is a strong part of the culture.
#1) Vatican City
And the number one wine consuming country, is actually not technically a country at all, but a city state! As the Catholic capital of the world, Vatican City sees quite a lot of shipments of wine, consuming more than 74 litres per person within its narrow borders. We hope that this wine is mostly being used for masses and other religious ceremonies!