If we were to ask you which country you think about when we say “wine,” you’d probably say France, right? It’s only natural; France is known for being the wonderful land of wine, cheese, and big crusty baguettes. Well, we’ve got some big news for you: France is now the second largest market in the world for wine.
Who has the distinction of knocking the French out of the top spot? The U.S.A.
According to the Paris-based Organisation Internationale de la Vigne et du Vin (OIV), France consumed 742.3 million gallons of wine in 2013 while the U.S. consumed 768.7 million gallons. The French numbers were a 7 percent decline since 2012 and the U.S. numbers were a 0.5 increase. This decline has been consistent over the past few years for France. In 1980, more than half of French adults were consuming wine almost every day; today, only 17 percent claim to do so.
The OIV’s report did, however, make one note to prove the French aren’t quite over the whole wine thing yet. Although the U.S. is now the world’s biggest wine market, the French still drink six times more wine per head than Americans at almost 1.2 bottles a week, per person.
Jean-Marie Aurant, OIV’s director general, told Reuters: “We drink less wine by volume, more quality wine. In the U.S. it is different and they are starting from a lower level per capita, so they have a tendency to consume more and more, notably quality wine.”
LA Weekly also reports that the wine we are drinking is mostly American wine with 4/5 of the wine being domestically produced. This makes sense because not only are Americans drinking more wine, our wineries are expanding and the entire wine culture in our country is maturing.
If these numbers are any indication of what is to come, the U.S. has a lot to look forward to in the wine world.