Au Revoir, Bon Ami: United States Passes France As Top Wine-Consuming Nation

We are now officially number one in the wine world. The United States has finally passed France as the top consuming wine nation with 330 million cases to France’s 321 million cases.

It is a welcomed trend for those of us who are wine fanatics. We have come a long way. I recall my father telling me that when he first became interested in wine in the 1950s he went into a store in Chicago and asked for a Zinfandel. The owner laughed and said “Kid, there are only two types of wine: red and white.”

The French are still number one in personal consumption. The average American drinks three gallons of wine a year (due largely to my own consumption being averaged across the nation). That is up from one gallon per person in 1970. However, the average Frenchmen still drinks 5 bottles to every one bottle for every American.

Clearly, the most important measure is quality. I am a great fan of France and its wines. My only complaint is that, in visiting France, it is almost impossible to find more than one or two bottles of American wine in wine stores. When you ask about it, the owners always say that their customers simply prefer French wines. This may be in part true but it is also likely due to the refusal of owners to expose French citizens to a greater array of American wines. It is a raw demonstration of French chauvinism and runs against a true love for wine that should not be blinded by nationalism. American wines are now easily competitive with French wines and often win in international competitions.

I agree that the French has a greater number and deeper number of fine wines. I love tasting local wines in France, which are often amazing in their quality. However, there is a lack of mutuality between wine lovers in both countries. You can go to any fine restaurant in the United States and find a great array of French wines. It is rare to see a single fine American wine at a French restaurant, let alone our counterparts in Australia and other fine wine producing countries.

With wine consumption continuing to rise in the United States, we can expect to see greater development of American wines. Hopefully, we will see a greater experimentation among French drinkers in the years to come.

Source: Time

27 thoughts on “Au Revoir, Bon Ami: United States Passes France As Top Wine-Consuming Nation”

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  2. Anon,

    Then you would imagine incorrectly. I still prefer German, although I do like Chablis. I didn’t say I didn’t like French wines, just that I prefer German and Italian. Yes, yes, yes. I’ve been told I’m a heathen – for more reasons than one, but I’ve come to terms with it. Why? How?

    Because ultimately I’m the one drinking the wine, ergo, my preference is all that matters when it comes right down to my own consumption.

    Honestly, I prefer a good strain of Northern Lights, KGB or Blueberry to just about any wine from anywhere, but they are kinda hard to drink with a meal.

  3. Gyges,

    There are a couple Chilean wines I enjoy but Australian wines are not on my list

  4. German wines too…

    I imagine you’ve never had a French Alsacian reisling, or a decent Montrachet. AKA known as a Burgundy white wine. No matter.

  5. Okay, AY… 🙂 First significant laugh of the day… As you rightly say, now it’s a different story…not that I would ever go there… 🙂

  6. well a nurse…..

    Like I said…one of the dew good reasons to continue to drink… if if you did something you’d rather forget…well…you have all of the necessary skills to help you forget….the answer….find whats in the bottom of the…well at that time it was the bottle… now… different story…

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