The Old World wines have always been a hit in the New World, and an article released by Reuters earlier this year indicates the love affair between old and new isn’t letting up.
“Although Italy is the world’s largest wine exporter, Italians are drinking less wine as American consumption rises,” Reuters reported.
The driving force behind the continued popularity of Italian wines in the United States is the country’s adeptness in producing sweet wines, which are, according to a Silicon Valley Bank study quoted in the Reuters piece, the darlings of the Millennial generation.
“Sales of Moscato imported from Italy were up 26.3 percent by volume for the 52 weeks ending (2013),” Reuters reported. “Imports from Italy of a still version of the grape were up 14.1 percent by volume.”
The popularity of Moscato has led to a sort of sugary treasure hunt for Millennials, whose sweet tooth has led them to bubbly bottles of Prosecco.
Prosecco has appeared in the headlines this year because, according to a recent story by the Wall Street Journal, the sparkling wine experienced a 32 percent rise in sales in the US.
These numbers follow a 2012 sales year in which the Italian sparkler reported significant growth as well.
“The consortium that governs the production of Prosecco reported global sales in 2013 topped some 241.6 million bottles, up more than 24 percent from 2012,” Reuters said.
While American desires for Prosecco and Moscato rise, Italian interest in wines from their own country are falling.
Italian university professor Michele Antonio Fino spoke about this Roman decline.
“The large majority of Italians like to drink a glass of wine while having their meal,” Fino told Reuters. “They don’t feel it is as necessary as it was 30 years ago.”
The numbers tell the story, according to Reuters.
In the 1970’s, Italians drank about 29 gallons of wine per person per year. In 2013, Reuters said, Italians drank 10.6 gallons of wine per year – about 30 percent of what they consumed in the 1970’s.
Though Italians drink more wine per year than Americans, the United States six-to-one population advantage has led to Americans drinking more Italian wines than Italians.
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