Italy and France leaders in production, Germany for imports, Luxemburg for consumption per capita

12/12/2013 Current status of wine in the world, production dynamics and consumption according to the Master of Wine, Jancis Robinson, in the Financial Times

It is a known fact that there is a decline in the consumption of wine in historical areas of production like Italy, France and Spain, while more wine has been drunk than ever before in the world. But to put all the numbers of this phenomenon together in the prestigious newspaper, The Financial Times, is none other than Master of Wine Jancis Robinson, one of the top experts in the world, together with the statistical analyst Valentina Romei, mostly citing data from OIV which were already analyzed in part.

The country that drinks the most therefore remains France with 30.2 million hectoliters with a 12.3% decrease from 2000 to 2012, followed by the USA with 29 million hectoliters (+36.8%) and Italy (22.6 million hectoliters, -26.5%). The top five consumer countries also include Germany with 20 million hectoliters (-0.7%) and China with 17.8 (+66%). Spain, which ranks third for volume of production (with 40,000 hectoliters), consumes just 9.3 million hectoliters with a drop of 33.8% over ten years.

In production, the top position is played out between France and Italy, which are separated by a few thousand hectoliters every year at 44 million in 2013, but with a transalpine decrease of 23.4% since 2000 and 13% for Italy. The USA doesn’t make the podium with 22 million hectoliters and China with 14.880 (+41%).

For consumption per capita, the top country is Luxembourg with 49.8 liters per person (-19.8% between 2000 and 2011), followed by France (46.4, -20.5%) and Italy (-29.8%).

The countries which import the most wine are Germany (15 million hectoliters, +53% from 2000 to 2012), the UK (12.5 million hectoliters, +38%) and the USA (11.6 million hectoliters, +161%). In spite of the +1039% boom in China, imports hold firm at 3.9 million hectoliters. Noteworthy is the Italian data: imports of 2.9 million hectoliters of wine with an increase of 417% over ten years.

Robinson’s analysis on the quality of wine is interesting, “It is difficult to quantify truly objectively. Overall standards of vine-growing and winemaking have undoubtedly risen considerably. When I began writing about wine in 1975 only about half of all wines were free of technical faults such as oxidation or excess sulphur. Today much less than 0.5 per cent of the thousands of wines I review every year are technically faulty.” She adds, “Old World wines have never been better quality... There has never been a better time to be a wine drinker.”