French drink less and less wine while Americans down more

The French are drinking less and less wine, while the Americans are downing more and more, a new report reveals.

French drink less and less wine while Americans down more
Photo: AFP
The French are drinking less and less wine, with consumption dropping by 20 percent in 20 years, while the Americans are putting away a whopping 53 percent more, new statistics reveal. 
Wine consumption in France fell to 27 million hectolitres in 2017, representing a decrease of 21.7 percent compared to 2000 when the French guzzled 34.5 million hectolitres, according to statistics from the International Organisation of Wine (OIV)
Meanwhile American consumption has shot up by 53 percent in that time, making the country the world's largest in terms of overall wine consumption. 
A total of 32.6 million hectolitres was consumed in the US in 2017 compared to 21.2 million in 2000. 

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Photo: AFP

However when it comes to per capita consumption, Americans drink much less than people from certain European countries, including France, Portugal, Germany and Spain.
On average each French adult put away 51.2 litres of wine in 2016 while Americans consumed just 12.1 litres.
Meanwhile Italians consumed 43.6 litres that year while the Germans put away 28.3 litres and the Spaniards drank 24.1 litres.
Per capita Portugal is at the top of the world rankings, with the Portuguese drinking down 51.4 litres of wine in 2016 (compared to 53.2 litres in 2000).
According to the OIV, the statistics were calculated by dividing a country's total wine consumption by the number of adults living there, and excluding tourist consumption.
“France is on a long-term trend of declining consumption of all alcoholic beverages,” said Alexis Capitan, general manager of responsible drinking association In Moderation, adding that consumers are focusing on quality rather than quantity. 
The annual budget for the purchase of alcoholic beverages in France however has remained stable, coming in at €325.30 in 2017, only €4.80 less than in 2016, but €24 more than ten years ago, according to a study by market research company Kantar Worldpanel.

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Cold snap ‘could slash French wine harvest by 30 percent’

A rare cold snap that froze vineyards across much of France this month could see harvest yields drop by around a third this year, France's national agriculture observatory said on Thursday.

Cold snap 'could slash French wine harvest by 30 percent'
A winemaker checks whether there is life in the buds of his vineyard in Le Landreau, near Nantes in western France, on April 12th, following several nights of frost. Photo: Sebastien SALOM-GOMIS / AFP

Winemakers were forced to light fires and candles among their vines as nighttime temperatures plunged after weeks of unseasonably warm weather that had spurred early budding.

Scores of vulnerable fruit and vegetable orchards were also hit in what Agriculture Minister Julien Denormandie called “probably the greatest agricultural catastrophe of the beginning of the 21st century.”

IN PICTURES: French vineyards ablaze in bid to ward off frosts

The government has promised more than €1 billion in aid for destroyed grapes and other crops.

Based on reported losses so far, the damage could result in up to 15 million fewer hectolitres of wine, a drop of 28 to 30 percent from the average yields over the past five years, the FranceAgriMer agency said.

That would represent €1.5 to €2 billion of lost revenue for the sector, Ygor Gibelind, head of the agency’s wine division, said by videoconference.

It would also roughly coincide with the tally from France’s FNSEA agriculture union.

Prime Minister Jean Castex vowed during a visit to damaged fields in southern France last Saturday that the emergency aid would be made available in the coming days to help farmers cope with the “exceptional situation.”

READ ALSO: ‘We’ve lost at least 70,000 bottles’ – French winemakers count the cost of late frosts