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Which countries drink the most wine? Ask Decanter

World wine consumption has fallen to its lowest level since 1996, according to new estimates, but which country drinks the most?

The US has continued to top the list of which countries drink the most wine in terms of total volume, according to preliminary figures for 2023 released by the International Organisation of Vine & Wine (OIV). 

However, the country was not immune as global wine consumption fell 2.6% in 2023 to hit a 27-year low, at 221m hectolitres (mhl) – 22.1bn litres – said OIV estimates.

Wine consumption in the US dropped by an estimated 3%, to 33.3m hectolitres, and second-placed France also saw a decline of 2.4%, to 24.4mhl.   

Top 10 countries that drink the most wine

Here is an updated list of the 10 countries that drink the most wine, according to OIV’s preliminary figures for 2023.

  • US: 33.3mhl, down 3% versus 2022
  • France: 24.4mhl, down 2.4%
  • Italy: 21.8mhl, down 2.5%
  • Germany: 19.1mhl, down 1.6%
  • UK: 12.8mhl, down 2.9%
  • Spain: 9.8mhl, up 1.7%
  • Russia: 8.6mhl, up 3%
  • Argentina: 7.8mhl, down 6.2%
  • China: 6.8mhl, down 24.7%
  • Portugal: 5.5mhl, down 9.2%

Source: OIV

In the chart above, the US accounts for around 15% of the world’s total wine consumption.

All of the top five market saw volume declines in 2023, suggested the OIV estimates, although China showed the biggest year-on-year drop, falling by more than a fifth. 

Portugal maintained its place in the top 10, despite falling 9%, and it’s worth noting that consumption in the country was close to 2019 levels.

The UK was between consumption levels reported in 2018 and 2019. 

A mix of inflationary pressures on wineries’ costs and household budgets contributed to consumption declines in 2023, said the OIV. Demographic and lifestyle changes may also have been a factor. 

Wine exports also dropped in value globally last year, by 4.7% to an estimated €36bn, but that’s still the second highest total on record.

Which country drinks the most wine per person?

On a per capita basis, the leaderboard looks quite different.

Portugal topped the charts again in 2023, on 61.7 litres per capita, way ahead of France and Italy in second and third place respectively. 

There is then a gap to fourth-placed Switzerland, showed the preliminary OIV figures. 

The US was ranked 15th on the per capita list, on 12.1 litres, behind 11th-placed UK on 23 litres per capita.

According to the OIV, the top 10 countries in terms of per capita wine consumption are:

  • Portugal: 61.7 litres per capita
  • France: 45.8 litres
  • Italy: 42.1 litres
  • Switzerland: 31.8 litres
  • Austria: 30.1 litres
  • Germany: 26.6 litres
  • Australia: 25.5 litres
  • Czech Republic: 24.4 litres
  • Spain: 24 litres
  • Netherlands: 23.1 litres

Source: OIV

Things have changed a lot in the last few decades.

Wine consumption in France has fallen by around 70% since 1960, according to industry groups Vin & Société and CNIV (Comité National des Interprofessions des Vins à appellation d’origine et à indication géographique).  

A chart shared by the American Association of Wine Economists (AAWE) on Twitter (now ‘X’) in 2021 showed how wine consumption in four big European producer nations has evolved over much of the past century.

That chart is from the ‘annual database of global wine markets’, made freely available by the University of Adelaide’s Wine Economics Research Centre, and created by professor Kym Anderson and economic history professor Vicente Pinilla, with the assistance of A.J. Holmes.  

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