Americans to Surpass Italians in Wine Purchases

women & wine by jawcey on FlickrWhen economic times are tough, apparently Americans turn to the bottle. The wine bottle, that is.

According to a report released by Vinexpo, which is based in Bordeaux, France and runs international wine exhibitions, the United States is poised to overtake Italy as the world’s number one non-sparkling wine consumer by 2012.


Italy has held the title since 2007 when it surpassed France; that year the Bel Paese bought 299 million cases of wine. Vinexpo predicts US wine drinkers will buy 313 million cases in 2012.

So should Italy, the country of Barolo, Brunello, and Chianti, be ashamed at this showing?


Remember, we only have 58 million people over here while the United States has a population of about 300 million. That means we’re buying about five cases of wine for every man, woman, and child in Italia–and that doesn’t count all the homemade wine stashed away in cantine from Piemonte to Calabria.

Not too shabby, Italy. Not too shabby at all.

Forza Italia!

Salute and buon weekend!

What’s your favorite vino?

28 Beans of Wisdom to “Americans to Surpass Italians in Wine Purchases”
  1. Gil

    “When economic times are tough, apparently Americans turn to the bottle. The wine bottle, that is.”

    Funny things about the above quote: 1) I read on some English news place on the web that due to the recession alcohol sales are up; 2) in my state, Connecticut, the recession has seriously impacted the tax revenues they collect and they blame the recession on decreased sales of alcohol and therefore decreased collections of alcohol taxes and 4) the story about the US sales of wine is no surpassing that of Italy.

    I wonder what the story i behind all of this. On tonight’s news I heard something about beer sales being down, in the US, due to the recession and I’ve heard that hard liquor sales are also down here.

    For me Type 2 diabetes really caused a downturn in my alcohol consumption. I do have some red Italian wine as they claim it is good for the heart. In fact the wine store is a good place for me to hit Friday afternoon after bringing my wife’s books back to the library!

    Don’t you just love the media? Never can tell who to believe…glad you can still get your red wine in 🙂

  2. 01.16.2009

    I have yet to meet a wine in Italy that I don’t like. My husband has become quite the connoisseur, he chooses and I enjoy the fruit of his labor… At this rate, we (americans in this household) are going to surpass the local Italians as far as wine consumption is concerned!

    Beatriz’s last blog post..Sneak peek

    Your husband and P would get along well 😉

  3. When I read the title of the post I thought “well I would hope so since they have almost six times the population and many Italians make their own wine”. Then I read the rest of the post. 🙂

    I’m with Beatriz. I have yet to meet an Italian wine I didn’t like.

    I tend to drink more reds. I’m enjoying a lot of Sicilian wines which are new to me. In the States most of the reds I drank were from Tuscany.

    nyc/caribbean ragazza’s last blog post..Flashback Friday – Take That – “Everything Changes”

    The Sicilian wines are great and we have a nice one from here in Calabria called Cirò…I’ll write about it one of these days 🙂

  4. 01.16.2009

    Well, in all honesty, I’m not much of a wine drinker. I think it’s the tannin that bothers me. Give me a vermouth on ice any day! But I do like some whites (like Verdeca) and some local Apulian primitivi… I’m not really doing my part on consumption, am I? 😉

    saretta’s last blog post..Amarcord Caffè

    That’s OK Saretta…I’m sure you do your part on the olives, right?

  5. Gil

    Oops, forgot my favorite wine any real dry red Italian!

    Salute Gil!

  6. awedree

    A nice Cabernet always works for me. As for the vini Italiani, I’ve always enjoyed Chianti and recently I discovered Nero d’Avola (Sicilian, I think?), which I really like as well. And…I have some fond memories of my favorite sparkling wine, Prosecco…
    Buon fine settimana, mi amica!

    Yes, Nero d’Avola is Sicilian and quite lovely…it’s a regular around here 🙂

  7. Very interesting … and I am definitely NOT surprised Italians buy more wine per person than Americans. We received, seriously, 10 reds this year as a Christmas present … from the same person!!

    My favorite hands-down wine is amarone, but it is $$$$. My favorite every-day vino is nero d’avola from Sicily.

    Cherrye at My Bella Vita’s last blog post..Top 5 Things American Expats in Italy Bring from Home

    That’s too funny. No one buys us wine, but we do gets lots of homemade as gifts throughout the year 🙂

  8. 01.16.2009

    I am now on a no-alchol regime and that after having discovered the joys of Italian wines. I went for a second opinion but both doctors said: NO! And they call themselves Italian! Boh!

    Willym’s last blog post..Miracolo!

    I’d get a third opinion 😉

  9. 01.16.2009

    Summer 2007, we were visiting Firenze and were staying in a beautiful little agritourismo, our host Pierro brought out a wine they had produced… a luscious red wine that was probably my favorite. I don’t even remember the name now, isn’t that sad?

    Amber’s last blog post..I heart art!

    I’m horrible with names too! So long as you have the good memory….

  10. Joanne at frutto della passione

    Currently my favourites are a nice Amarone or Aglianico – so red, still and full bodied!

    Joanne at frutto della passione’s last blog post..Barilla Website of the Month January 2009

    My kinds of wine, Joanne 🙂

  11. 01.16.2009

    Not too shabby at all! Lord knows I’m doing my fair share+ on this side of the ocean including the homemade stuff! Have a great weekend Michelle!

    joe@italyville’s last blog post..Italian Superstitions

    Good on you Joe 🙂

  12. Connie Costa

    ANY OF THE NERO D’AVOLA!!! Perhaps I am biased and love anything Sicilia, but that’s GOOD WINE!!! I also love any of the Villa Antinori and Sassicaia. I JUST LOOOOOOOVE WINE!!!!yummy!!!! And of course, HOME MADE WINE…..delicious!!!

    I’m partial to southern wines too, Connie…and yes, my very favorite is the wine P’s father makes 🙂

  13. 01.16.2009

    I think I make up for folks who DON”T drink wine here in the US!! I have wine with dinner practically every night, so we got through it quickly!! My favorite wine is RED. But as long as it doesn’t come out of a box or is a White Zin- I am game. Some favs are Cote du Rhone, Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, Pinot Noir, Valpolicella, Shiraz and Malbec. What can I say- I am a self-professed wino 🙂

    My Melange’s last blog post..My Melange is….

    You’d be surprised how many wine in the box things sell around here…maybe they’re better in Italy? 😉

  14. 01.16.2009

    hey, i’m doing my part to make it so! my favorite is brunello (camigliano)…but i drink it only on my birthday as a special treat!

    qualcosa di bello’s last blog post..thoughts from the hearth…

    You have *excellent* taste QdB 😉

  15. 01.16.2009

    I’m an Australian Shiraz kinda girl, or any of the Fat Bastards.

    Giovanna’s last blog post..16 Things

    Hee hee…I just love that name 🙂

  16. 01.16.2009

    My favorite is Fragolino…I had it in Venice this past summer and now can’t find a satisfying replica here in the states. I guess another trip to Italy is in order 😉

    Anait’s last blog post..Reality Check

    Come on over Anali!

  17. Bobbie in Alaska!

    I hate to admit it but I can’t handle red wines. I know if you are a wine buff, reds are the only way to go. But, I don’t like the heavy feeling I get in my stomach after drinking reds. I am a wimp. My favorite is Reisling, which I guess is a dessert wine. Oh well. Any recommendations for a mild red would be nice. Preferably one that can be chilled a little? If that is possible.

    No shame in that Bobbie…to be honest, I don’t handle whites very well, especially sparkling (except a sip or two of prosecco). I’m not good with names or recs of wine, but hopefully someone will heed your call 😉

  18. Scicchi

    “United States is poised to overtake Italy as the world’s number one non-sparkling wine consumer by 2012.”

    Maybe more Italians are moving to the US? 😉

    I could drink just about any kind of red wine (and do, daily). I have no idea about the different names, vintages, where it comes from, etc. As long as it comes from grapes, it passes with me! My favorite is probably the homemade stuff you get around here, just because it’s homemade I guess. I have tasted a few not-so-desirable ones, to me anyway, but still, they made it and thought enough to give it to me, so I am more then happy to consume it!

    For Christmas this past year, a friend of my wife’s gave her two soupies (cured pork popular around here) wrapped in tin foil and her homemade wine in a plastic water bottle. Grazie mille!!!

    I hear you. We drink mostly homemade wine and I’m so not good with names and whatnot…but what a Christmas gift! Score!

  19. wineywhites

    I’m a big fan on Brunello’s and Vino Nobile de Montepulciano’s. Interestingly, as someone who’s into wine, I’ve noticed that many of the major wine publications are putting out lots and reviews and articles about “value wines”, or wines under $15/bottle. A lot of those are mass market wines, but some are small producers making wine from less famous places. What a cool opportunity to learn about a new place – picking up a bottle of wine from somewhere you’d like to explore.

    That *is* a great idea…I wonder if any of our Calabrian wines are in on that? Hmm….

  20. 01.17.2009

    Forze Italia, indeed! And think of the increasing export opportunities 🙂

    Chuck’s last blog post..For the Birds

    Absolutely Chuck! Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  21. 01.17.2009

    I do love a good barolo! (though in these times, I can only dream of buying a bottle). I haven’t met a wine I didn’t like, and I think the Italian reds are my faves.


    shibori girl’s last blog post..What’s Cooking Sunday/Salmon Cakes

    I think we’d get along just find Kate 🙂

  22. 01.18.2009

    I’m a vino bianco gal myself, preferably something dry – Pinot Grigio tops the list. Red gives me a headache and I always feel hungover the next day no matter how little I’ve had. But I guess I’m going to have to try the Nero D’Avola if everyone’s raving about it so!!!!!

    Hey, Michelle – thanks for stopping by today – you were FIRST!!!!!! I mean VERY FIRST. EVER. Which is fitting because although this has been on the burner for a few years now, you were a big inspiration to me in moving forward, and I paid very close attention to your “how to…” post a while back. I really value your opinion so let me know what you think from time to time, it’ll keep me on track.

    anna l’americana’s last blog post..It’s just not that cold outside……..

    Don’t worry, I’ll make a nuisance of myself in no time….

    Congratulations on your new venture!

  23. 01.19.2009

    My favorite vino changes… but I will always love Montepulciano. And a good Chianti Classico. I think I do favor Italian wines, in general.

    Great taste, Jen 😉

  24. The homemade wine is definately a big factor. Though quite a bit is made in the U.S. too. I bet the French still lead both countries in wine per person.

    Gennaro @ Enduring Wanderlust’s last blog post..8 Presidential Inauguration Locations To Visit

    None of that homemade stuff is counted in this survey, but it definitely would be interesting to see how all the countries stack up in consumption!

  25. 01.23.2009

    America has over 300 million inhabitants, Italians are 56 million. There is no match.


    Indeed Alex and yet Italians really keep up their wine purchases totals!

  26. 01.23.2009

    My favorite vino? It depends what I’m eating, but if your talking about an “aperitivo”, then I’ll suggest a cabernet-sauvignon, a teroldego rotaliano or a merlot, all red wines from Veneto or Friuli, on the north-east of Italy.


    AAA Copywriter’s last blog post..BLACK OUT

    Mmmm I’m thirsty….

  27. James

    Italy population 50 milion.

    USA population 300 million.

    Of course the nation that is 6 times bigger is going to drink more wine.

    James, if you read the post, I addressed this issue, and although it does seem logical, note that currently Italy *does* purchase more wine than the US…the news is about projected figures in the future.

  1. [...] you can get involved.   3. So, who do you think drinks for wine – Americans or Italians? Get ...
Michelle KaminskyMichelle Kaminsky is an American attorney-turned-freelance writer who lived in her family's ancestral village in Calabria, Italy for 15 years. This blog is now archived. 

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