Wine is loved everywhere, from Europe to the Americas and Asia. It has been the favorite drink to both kings and peasants for hundreds of centuries now.
Just by looking at raw data, people and wine are in a perpetual love story that is not going to end any time soon. To put it in a better perspective, just last year, people consumed more than 146 million hectolitres wine. If you feel confused by the term hectoliter, then don’t worry – you are not the first one. One hectoliter translates into standard 100 liters.
So, you do the math to see how much wine is consumed in the world annually. In any case, that’s a lot of wine, and if we are to follow expert prediction, that is an upward trend with no signs of stopping in the foreseeable future. The only real issue with wine consumption is climate change and its impact on wine production worldwide.
But, we are not here to discuss wine and climate change, but wine consumption around the world. Again, to paint a better picture, we will use statistics from the OIV – the International Organization of Vine and Wine.
Each year, the OIV collects data and creates a report on global grapes production, table grapes production, dried grapes production, wine production, wine consumption, and international wine trade.
Major Wine Consumers
Based on OIV data, the United States is the country that consumed most wine in 2019. Last year, they consumed more than 33 million hl of wine. The list of countries that consume most wine in the world annually includes France, Italy, Germany, China, United Kingdom, Russian Federation, Spain, Argentina, Australia, Portugal, Canada, Romania, South Africa, Netherlands, etc.
The most significant increase in wine consumption is in the United States, China, the Russian Federation, Italy, Australia, India, and Spain. At the same time, it is noteworthy that wine consumption in most parts of Europe is stable and on the higher end of the scale, as expected.
An interesting exception to this rule in mainland Europe is in Portugal, where per-capita consumption of wine has actually been decreasing relatively steadily over the last decade or so. Considering Portugal produces a wide variety of fantastic wines (such as the Porta 6 Lisboa wine reviewed recently by us) we find this a little surprising – but likely represents general shifts in the health of the country and younger generations rather than any commentary on the fantastic Portuguese wines (such as the Porta 6 Lisboa)!
To better understand the bond between people and Europe and their wine, check out the following data.
Liters of Wine consumed per capita
To better understand wine consumption around the world, we also need to check another type of data – liters of wine consumed per capita yearly. The proud title of biggest wine lovers for last year goes to Andorra. According to data from both the OIV and the Wine Institute, people in Andora consume incredible 56.9 liters per head.
To further clarify that, 56.9 liters of wine equals a total of 76 bottles!
In their defense, Andorra is a very popular destination for winter sports and a tax haven. Therefore, those numbers might be slightly boosted by tourists, as well as fans of duty-free shopping. But still, even with that, Andorrans are no short of “heavyweights” in wine drinking.
The US, with a population of 329.45 million, may consume more wine than any other country. But at the same time, data suggests that the average American drinks only 9.9 liters annually. That puts them on the not so great 55th place in the world in terms of liters wine consumed per capita.
The second country on the list is also a surprise, at least to some degree. Believe it or not, but the Vatican comes second with 56.2 liters consumed per capita. No data shows how much is consumed by their residents and how much from the millions of tourists that visit the Vatican every year.
But again, even with all the tourists, and Pope Francis’s wine affection, 56.2 liters per year is no joke.
The list of top 10 countries that drink most wine per capita includes:
- Andorra – 56.9 liters
- Vatican City – 56.2 liters
- Croatia – 46.9 liters
- Portugal – 43.7 liters
- France – 43.1 liters
- Slovenia – 42.5 liters
- Macedonia – 40.4 liters
- Falkland Islands – 38.5 liters
- Switzerland – 37 liters
- Italy – 34.1 liters
As expected, European countries dominate the list. Almost all historical data and future predictions suggest that Europeans will be on the top of this list in the foreseeable future.
On the other hand, some countries consume the least wine per capita. Unsurprisingly, the list is primarily made of Muslim countries where alcohol is either forbidden or a religious taboo.
Pakistan leads the list of countries that consume the least wine per capita. In Pakistan, the average consumption of wine per capita is 0.00019 liters. Yemen, Afghanistan, and Syria follow the list.
To put things in a better perspective, the Falkland Islands have a population of 2,912 that each year consumes 112,000 liters of wine. On the other hand, Pakistan has a population of 192,826,502 that consumes three times less wine than that.