Categories : Wine
Wine found its way through ages and continents, being an integral part of culture and history in many countries. Over time, wine consumption evolved and spread across different regions of the world. In this article, we will touch upon the world’s largest consumers of wine.
Europe is the birthplace of viticulture, with a long history of wine production and consumption. Wine culture is deeply rooted in many European countries’ traditions and customs. France, Italy, Spain and Portugal are well-known for their production and love of wine. Not far behind are Germany, Great Britain and Nordic countries.
France is one of the most famous producers and consumers of wine. France’s wine-growing regions are well-known for the quality and diversity of their wines, Bourgogne, Vallée du Rhône and Bordeaux for example. Wine is a central element in French culture, often associated with gastronomy and the art of living. Italy is also a great wine producer and consumer, with emblematic wine-growing regions such as Toscane, Piémont and Vénétie. Italian wines are appreciated for their diversity and quality, and the country is particularly famous for its red wines, including the Barolo, Chianti and Amarone.
Spain is the third largest wine producer in the world, with a long history of wine making, dating back to Roman times. Spanish wines are diversified and include red wines such as Rioja and Ribera del Duero, as well as white wines like Albariño and Verdejo. Wine consumption is deeply rooted in Spanish culture since the wine is often consumed during important meals and celebrations. Portugal is also a European country with rich winemaking traditions. The country is most famous for its Port wine, a fortified wine from the Douro region, and the Vinho Verde, a light and sparkly wine produced in the northwest of Portugal.
Wine consumption is not limited to European frontiers and spread considerably in the world during the last few decades. Among those countries, the USA became the world’s largest wine consumer and California the 4th largest winemaking region in the world. Other countries such as Canada, Australia and New-Zealand are also important wine consumers. We can observe a rapid growth of wine consumption in emerging countries, especially in Asia (China, Japan, South Korea) and South America (Argentina, Chili and Brazil).
In order to establish a ranking of the world’s largest wine consumers, we relied on the data provided by the International Organisation of Vine and Wine (Organisation internationale de la vigne et du vin; OIV). This organization provides a yearly overview and showcases the leading trends in wine consumption and production. In 2021, here is the top 10 of the largest wine consumers, in millions of liters consumed per year :
1. USA : 33,1 millions of liters
2. France : 25,2 millions of liters
3. Italy : 24,2 millions of liters
4. Germany : 19,8 millions of liters
5. Great Britain : 13,4 millions of liters
6. Spain : 10,5 millions of liters
7. China : 10,5 millions of liters
8. Russia : 10,5 millions of liters
9. Argentina : 8,4 millions of liters
10. Australia : 5,9 millions of liters
This ranking shows that wine consumption is spread all over the world, with a predominance of European and American countries. It is important to point out that this ranking does not take into account the consumption per inhabitant, only the overall consumption.
France is undoubtedly a leading country in the wine world. It is not only one of the largest wine consumers, but also one of the most important wine producers in the world. French vineyards are famous for their diversity, quality and rich history. Wine plays an important part in the french economy, with a significant part of the country’s income represented by exports. Viticulture and wine trading generate employment and contribute to the development of wine growing regions. Furthermore, wine is an integral part of french culture, and represents a key element of the french art of living. Wine tasting and oenotourism are appreciated by french people as well as foreign tourists.
Despite its success, the french wine-growing industry must face many challenges such as international rivalry, climate change and evolution of consumption habits. French producers have to innovate and adapt to preserve their status on the global market. The French wine industry is confronted with many challenges but the future of wine in France remains promising.