Who would have guessed that the country with the highest consumption of wine is the Vatican.
According to a study released by the California Wine Institute, the Vatican came in first in 2012 for wine consumption, with 74 liters per person. A much higher figure than countries traditionally associated with a strong wine market, such as Italy and France.
Some argue that religious functions could have had an impact on the final result, in a state where only 836 people live. The gap with the second country in the list though, Andorra, is quite big since the microstate in the Pyrenees consumes 46 liters of wine per person, while France is third with 44 liters.
There’s another factor however to be considered, which the CWI study didn’t take into account: taxes. The wine sold in the Vatican supermarket, called “spaccio dell’Annona”, is subject to a much lower tax than in Italy, affecting the final cost of the wine. People who are not citizens of the Vatican but hold a card that allows them to shop at the supermarket there are very likely to fill their carts with bottles of wine at discounted prices, which may explain the high consumption rate registered by the study.