Simply by virtue of its sheer size and massive population, the United States leads the world in consumption of a lot of things.
But through the years, France has led the U.S. — and all other nations — in wine consumption.
That changed in 2013, when the U.S. topped France for the first time since records have been kept.
The final tally for the year: 770 million gallons of wine consumed in the United States, 745 million gallons in France.
Those two countries are far and away the leaders, followed by Italy at 576 million gallons and Germany at 536 million gallons.
Rounding out the top five, and poised to change the wine marketplace forever because of its emerging middle class, is China. Its citizens consumed 444 million gallons of wine last year, according to the International Organization of Vine and Wine.
As more Chinese people earn more money, they’ll be drinking more wine. From that growing group, quality-focused palates will be developed, and those people are likely to seek out wines of higher quality — thus creating more demand and, some analysts predict, pushing prices skyward.