Italian wine consumption has declined in the past few years

Italian wine consumption has declined in the past few years

Wine consumption in Italy rebounded slightly last year but the country dropped to third-equal with Germany in new global rankings.

Wine drinking in Italy has dropped by about one-fifth since the economic recession in 2008 and in 2014 fell 6% to 20.4m hectolitres, according to the International Organisation for Vine and Wine (OIV). New OIV figured released last week showed a 0.3% climb last year, but faster growth in Germany saw the two countries draw level at 20.5m hectolitres.

Despite the consumption decline, Italy remained the number two wine exporter by volume (20m hectolitres) behind Spain (22.3m hectolitres).

The US held on as the top wine consuming country, up 1% to 31m hectolitres, with France second at 27.3m hectolitres after a 1.2% decline. China came in fifth, up 3.2% to 16m hectolitres.

The top five countries account for about half of global consumption, which remained relatively stable at 240m hectolitres compared to 239m hectolitres the year before. The figure is about 10m hectolitres below the record consumption high in 2008.

Last year, the world wine trade increased by 1.8% in volumes to 104.3m hectolitres and up 10.6% in value to EUR28.3bn, the OIV said.

The OIV is the intergovernmental organisation for vines and wine and has 46 member states.

A new study released this week said that total wine imports to the US grew 5% by volumes and 2% by value in 2015 as premiumisation trends drove the category.