Mirror mirror on the wall, who’s the booziest of all?
The answer if you accept the OIV figures published in the latest edition of The Oxford Companion to Wine (OCW) is Luxembourg, with a cheerful per capita wine consumption of 60.7 litres per capita in 2012. Luxembourg was also at the head of the list in 2000 with 62.7 litres, so they’ve slipped slightly but the small drop doesn’t indicate that they’ve exactly climbed onto the wagon.
I recall discussing Luxembourg’s high alcohol consumption rate (they led the world in consumption of beer, wine & spirits when I had the conversation) with a local. He explained that Luxembourg had a small local population and a high visitor count which boosted the booze stats.
The OIV figures in 2000 were based on total population while the 2012 figures used a population database of people aged 15+. Increased consumption for the decade is likely to be unrealistically high, warned the OCW
That doesn’t explain New Zealand’s apparent increase in consumption for that period by a whopping 2,272%. The 2012 consumption figure of 26.1 litres per head seems about right, but the 2000 figure of 1.1 litres looks a tad low. Mind you we were beaten by Lithuania whose population has clearly made an effort to imbibe with increased consumption of 2,620% in the same decade (from an abstemious 0.5 litres per head in 2000).
In 2012, France is narrowly in second place behind Luxembourg, with a consumption of 57.9 litres, Portugal (55.4) comes third, overtaking Italy (43.3) since 2000.
For the record, New Zealand was in 18th place in 2012, behind Australia which ranks 15th.
The most abstemious country (out of the 73 surveyed) is Egypt the population of which consumed, with the help of visiting tourists, a very sobering 0.1 litre per head in 2012. I didn’t want to see the pyramids anyway.