Wine

US now drinks more wine than France

Americans now consumer more wine than the French.

Americans now consumer more wine than the French.  (iStock)

Craft beer may all the rage but American consumers are also loving wine these days. So much so that for the first time , the U.S. has overtaken France in per capita wine consumption.

Agrifrance, a division of BNP Paribas Wealth Mangement, publishes an annual report on France’s rural economy but this year’s report shed some special insight into the habits of new consumers and the rise of “New World” wines.

"The wine market has become a real global market. Despite increasing competition, very few brands have succeeded in really imposing themselves at international level, and growth prospects in the 'premium' segment are very good," Benoit Lechenault, Head of Agrifrance, detailed in the annual survey. 

The top 12 wine-growing countries in the world account for a whopping 84 percent of the global wine production. Last year 247 million hectoliters--equivalent to 37.2 billion bottles—were produced, a moderate rise of about 2.2 percent over the past 20 years. But while wine production in Europe has remained stable, new world markets like Chile, Australia, and New Zealand have seen their wine production increase by as much as 300 percent.

France still rules the high-end wine market. Its wines command an average price of $7.50 per liter compared to the global average of nearly $3 in 2011. Champagnes fetch an impressive $16 per liter.

And while 84 of the world’s 100 most “famous” wine brands are French, drinkers in the U.S. are now consuming the most wine in the world at an average of 12 liters per person annually—that’s about 16 bottles.