Vatican consumes the most wine in the world

The Vatican City state consumes more wine per capita than any other country in the world.

According to statistics from the California-based Wine Institute, the Vatican consumed 74 litres of wine per person in 2012.

This is about double the per capita consumption of Italy as a whole. A standard bottle of wine is about .75 litres, so the Vatican annual consumption was the equivalent of 105 bottles per person.

Italian press reports attribute the wine intake to the Vatican having older residents who are overwhelmingly male, are highly educated and tend to eat communally – all factors that tend to lead toward higher wine consumption.

Some believe the use of wine for Communion also contributed to the figure, but this was dismissed by other commentators.

Another factor is the Vatican’s small size that makes it easy for per-capita figures to be distorted by the activities of a small group, or in the case of the Vatican, a single supermarket that sells wines almost tax-free.

Other microstates, including Andorra (46 litres per person) and the French islands of St. Pierre and Miquelon, off the coast of Canada (44 litres per capita), still fall far short of Vatican levels.

Luxembourg, another small country – though with a population of 535,000 that’s many times that of the Vatican’s estimated population of 800 – is second on the list, with a per capita consumption of around 56 litres.

France and Italy each have a little more than half the per-capita consumption of the Holy See in 2012.

In 2011, the Vatican’s per capita wine consumption was 62 litres.



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