Top 10 Wine-Consuming Countries in the World Per Capita (Slideshow)
February 4, 2014
10 Norfolk Island
Although the population is is little more than 2,000, this tiny island in the Pacific Ocean between Australia and New Zealand, prides itself on being a self-governing, peaceful vacation spot that attracts a ton of visitors. Vacationing visitors, in turn drink quite a bit of wine, despite there only being one winery on the entire island (Two Chimneys Wine)
It's not all cheese, chocolate and skiing in Switzerland. Coming in at number nine on the list of top wine-consuming countries, Switzerland has a mighty fermented grape population, and produces 110 million liters of wine each year, according to Wine Producing Switzerland. The Swiss keep most of that wine to themselves, exporting only two percent out of their country's borders.
Not surprisingly, Portugal, with a rich history of wine production, and varied wine regions, has made the list. Portugal is famous for its Port and Madeira varities. Portuguese wines are particularly beloved in America. But all of those extensive and exclusive wines must have rubbed off on the Portuguese people, as they drank, on average, 41 litres per person in 2012.
This Southeastern European country may only have just over 2 million people within its borders, but Macedonia is well-known for its extensive wine country, with more than 55,000 acres of wineries. Even the New York Times took a tour of the area in 2010. But don't get too excited about Macedonian wine: the grape varities of Vranec, Plavac, Traminec, Zilavka are rare in the United States, leaving each Macedonian to drink 41.5 litres of wine by him or herself each year.
At the crossroads of Central Europe, Croatia is also at the crossroads of wine production and consumption. Croatia mostly produces white wine in its 300 wine regions. For Croatians, drinking wine with meals is common, and they are most likely to drink a concoction of dry, tart wine and sparkling mineral water, drink known as gemist.
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 Guiness 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!