Wine is one of the most consumed drinks on the planet.
The most current estimates state that people all around the world drink 23.4 billion litres of wine every year. To create a little context, breaking that number down into standard 750ml bottles, that makes a staggering 31.2 billion bottles every single year.
That’s a lot of bottles!
We can break it down even further to find that this amounts to about 3.9 bottles per person per year. Of course, the real number is much higher as this doesn’t account for children and people who simply don’t drink wine. In reality, it’s likely that the average wine drinker easily gets through about 10 bottles per year.
As we said, these are massive numbers. So, it should come as no surprise that every major country’s wine industry contributes a significant amount to its economy.
Italy is no different, with the country’s wine industry being just as important as its food and fashion industries.
After discovering these numbers, we started to ask a few more questions.
We know how much wine is consumed each year.
But who’s drinking it? Which countries dominate the pack in terms of the sheer volume of wine consumed each year?
We answered some of these questions in 2019. But it’s 2022 now and we think it’s time to update the figures. So, those questions led us to more research. And in this article, we’re going to showcase the results. These are the countries that drink more Italian (and French and Spanish and…you get the picture) wines each year.
Country #1 – Portugal
When we started our research, we assumed that the number one position only had two contenders – France and Italy.
We were wrong.
According to data published by Statista, Portugal consumes more wine than any other country in the world. This is per capita consumption, which means the amount of wine consumed per person rather than the amount of wine that each country purchases. If we were to go on volume alone, the United States would be much higher on the list thanks to the sheer number of people who live there.
But when it comes to per capita consumption, Portugal leads the pack at 51.9 litres per person annually. For context, this amounts to 69.2 bottles per year, or about one bottle every five or six days!
Country #2 – Italy
While we honestly expected Italy to rank first on this list, second place isn’t bad either. It also just goes to show how popular Italian wines are around the world, as Italy leads the pack in terms of wine production, and yet it comes second when it comes to consumption. That means a lot of Italian wines are finding their way to other countries.
Italy’s per capita consumption comes in at 46.6 litres per person each year, which amounts to a little over 62 bottles. That’s just under one bottle every six days, which means that Italy isn’t too far behind Portugal.
Country #3 – France
And here, we land on the country that we thought would be Italy’s major competition for most wine consumed per capita. How shocking that another country has beaten both by a fairly wide margin!
Of course, France is one of the world’s most important wine-producing countries. While Italy is renowned for its combination of variety, quality, and sheer volume, France isn’t far behind in either category. In fact, many would argue that France produces even better wines than Italy, though there are many who lean in the opposite direction.
What we do know for sure is that the French love their wines, and that many people around the world love French wines too. France consumes 46 litres per year, meaning that there’s less than a bottle per year in it when it comes to the competition between France and Italy. We reckon that these numbers will interchange depending on several factors and its fair to say that Italy and France basically consume the same amount of wine each year.
Country #4 – Switzerland
Now, this one took us by surprise a little bit too. We were expecting to see the UK or USA cracking the top five. Yet, neither finds its way onto the list. Instead, it’s the Swiss who land in fourth place by virtue of drinking 35.7 litres of wine per year.
It’s here where we start to see some disparity between the top three countries and the ones below it. While there were only about five litres of difference between France, Italy, and Portugal, Switzerland is over 10 litres below France in terms of per capita consumption.
Still, 35.7 litres are nothing to be sniffed at. That still amounts almost 48 bottles per year, meaning the Swiss drink about a bottle of wine per week. Our research also revealed that wine is the favoured drink for pairing with fondue, which goes some way to explaining why the Swiss numbers are so high.
Country #5 – Austria
Austria is one of those countries that often flies under the radar when it comes to wine. And yet, Austria has a vibrant wine industry that produces some remarkable drinks. Of course, Statista’s list shows that Austrians love to drink wine just as much as they enjoy making it.
Austrians get through 29.9 litres per year, which amounts to almost 40 bottles per year. That’s still a respectable total, and it puts the country far ahead of relative also-rans, like the UK and USA.
The Final Word
Digging further into the data, we find that several countries come pretty close to Austria for fifth place. Australia, Germany, and Argentina all consume over 27 litres per person annually. Sweden lands bang on 27 litres, while several countries consume between 20 and 25 litres per year, the UK being one of them.
How many of the bottles consumed each year are Italian wines?
It’s impossible to say.
It’s reasonable to assume that most of the wine consumed in Italy is also made in Italy. However, there’s no way of figuring out which countries favour Italian wine more than others based on Statista’s data.
Still, it has to be a lot seeing as Italy produces and sells more wine than any other country!
If you’re looking to contribute to your country’s figures, we’re here to help. You’ll find plenty of Italian wines, along with many wines from other countries, in the Xtrawine collection.
I’m a passionate about good wine and good cooking.
I like to keep me updated and share with my online friends my gastronomic knowledge.