Vino Veritas: Americans Drink More Wine Than the French

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Are we becoming tasteful tipplers? A new study ranks the U.S. as the top wine-consuming nation in the world.

The numbers could knock a Frenchman out like even the most potent Cabernet. Last year, the French consumed 321 million cases of wine. But the U.S. sipped up 330 million cases.

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Wine consulting firm Gomberg, Fredrikson & Associates chalked up the increase to a shift in Americans’ tastes. Are we acquiring an air of sophistication? It could be explained by a simple generational shift in the U.S.  As Generation Y – the Millenials – comes of age, they are turning to the complexity of wine when looking for a tipple.

And in a recession, wine provides a solid bang-for-the-buck. The proof is in the numbers: the average American drinks three gallons of wine a year, a huge spike from one gallon per person in 1970.

Of course, there’s the obvious population disparity between the two nations. And Frenchmen (and women) outdrink Americans on an individual level: the average French wine lover downs 5 bottles for every one by an American. But the numbers don’t lie: the French have been upended as the world’s largest wine consumers.

We hope you’re not too broken up about these results, French folks. If so, perhaps a glass of Merlot will help it all go down easier.

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