Wine by the numbers
June 16, 2007
I don’t know about you, but I love statistics. There is nothing more soothing to me than reading about national wine consumption and international production statistics. I know what you are thinking: This guy must be nuts. But there are really some great stats out there and little wine tidbits that loosen up the laborious text- book reading that takes up most of my free time. I will therefore share some of my all- time faves with you, the good wine-loving community of Park City.
California leads the country in wine consumption, drinking a generous 50 million cases of wine per year.
Utah sits at 44th, consuming a mere 1 million cases annually. That works out to about a little more than half of a case of wine per person per year. Come on guys, we can do better than that. (By the way, that means my girlfriend and I drink about as much wine as 48 average Utahans per year.)
In a vintage year, there are nearly 10,000 individual labels of bubbly made just in Champagne. And you though it was easy to understand wine.
While the U.S. ranks 34th in terms of wine consumption per capita, we now rank 3rd in quantity. Nothing like having 300 million people in your country.
Italy and France create about a quarter of the world’s wine each, and over half of it never leaves their respective borders. The U.S. produces about 12 percent. That means that if we exported every drop of wine we made to France or Italy, they would still be thirsty.
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The U.S. drinks 95 percent of all wine sold 48 hours of purchase. We have always been a short-sited group.
About half of our wine drinking is done in restaurants. I’m not really sure that that one is interesting.
We import about 120 million gallons of wine per year and export 80 million, of which 1.5 million gallons go to France. Not bad considering the whole nose in the air thing.
New York State actually ranks second in the country in terms of acres under vine.
Dr. Charles E Welch, the creator of Welch’s grape juice in the middle of the 19th century, hated wine. He created the "perfect grape juice" so that while at church one had an alternative to alcoholic wine. I’ve never really been a church kind of guy, but I imagine the fun is in the wine. I just don’t get it.
Zev Rovine is the sommelier and resident cheese monger at the Spotted Frog Bookstore Cafe and Wine Bar where he teaches weekly wine classes. His wine education comes from the American Sommelier Association in N.Y.C. and he tries his very best not to spill the Pinot on the bestseller section. If you have any wine queries or comments he is easily contacted via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org .