The Local (France’s News In English) reports that for the first time in the history of recording this kind of stuff… the United States has snatched the #1 spot from France as “World’s Top Wine Consumer.”
“USA, USA, (hiccup) USA,” we imagine Americans everywhere chanting at noon Pacific time, where everyone is enjoying a bottle of Pinot Noir during a standard LA lunch.
Here’s the data from the article
“The United States was the top consumer for the first time at 29 million hectolitres, with domestic production accounting for four-fifths, said Jean-Marie Aurand, the head of the intergovernmental organisation that compiles global statistics for the industry. France was in second place at 28 million hectolitres…”
As one of our goals here is to comment on media, it’s worth noting that the population of the United States is about 318 million, while the population of France is about 65 million. Meaning that the stat we would view as relevant “wine per capita” is still being dominated by the French. We’re not saying the French are trying to deny they have a problem by manipulating data… but here are:
3 Questions That Arise From This Story
1. Should the French blame Costco for France’s decline in the standings? We don’t know how much a “hectolitre” is, but we’d wager you can get Kirkland branded wines in that size, where you will probably drink more, since you think you got such a great deal for a hectolitre and don’t want the wine to go “bad.”
2. Is part of the problem that too many people in France are drinking non-existent wine poured by mimes, out of mimed bottles, into mimed glasses? Given that the wine consumption in France seems about six times higher per person than the US, admit it French readers: you can’t rule that out by the end of the night.
3. Will competitive people in France ask if it is time to lower the legal drinking age in France, to get even younger people to drink and return to #1? Oh, wait, that’s not possible, as we see from Wikipedia, there is no legal drinking age in France.*
*Except in bars, where the minimum age is 18. You have to draw the line of babies drinking somewhere. And in France, that line seems to be “in view of public tourists.”