It's official! We're a country of winos. According to NBC, the United States is reportedly the largest wine market in the world. This is the first time that America has defeated France in its consumption of vino. I'll drink to that!
U.S. consumers bought 29.1 million hectolitres of wine in 2013, a rise of 0.5 percent on 2012, while French consumption fell nearly 7 percent to 28.1 million hectolitres, the International Vine and Wine organisation OIV said on Tuesday.
France is the third largest wine producer in the world, after Italy and Spain, and although American drinkers are still way behind in terms of consumption per head.
According to per capita figures that date from 2011, the average French person still gets through almost 1.2 bottles a week, about six times more than the average American. Nevertheless the downward trend in consumption through recent years is fairly dramatic in Europe's wine-drinking heartlands. "In countries such as France, Italy and Spain, people used to drink a lot of wine, but consumption habits are changing," OIV director general Jean-Marie Aurand said on the sidelines of a news conference in Paris. "Meanwhile U.S consumers tend to appreciate wine more and more and their population is larger," he added.
To celebrate this momentous occasion, here's our guide to Wine Across America!
And should you find yourself on a Sideways-inspired trip to California, here's how to hit up all the wineries from the film: