The Vatican consumes more wine than any other country

Published 25 February 2014  |  
(AP)

The Vatican is home to the world's most enthusiastic wine drinkers, if new data released by the California based Wine Institute is to be believed.

The average Vatican citizen consumes 74 litres of wine in a year, approximately 105 bottles.

That's double the average annual consumption of people in France and Italy, and triple the same figure in the UK.

Alongside the ceremonial consumption of wine at communion, the high figure could also be down to the communal meals the Vatican holds, where wine is almost always served.

The Vatican's demographic is also older, overwhelmingly male, and highly educated - factors that lend towards higher wine consumption.

The population at the Vatican numbers less than a thousand, so a single particularly enthusiastic wine drinker will alter the overall average far more than in other, more populous countries.

A similar situation can be seen in tiny Luxembourg, which comes in second for wine consumption per head of population - just over half a million people drinking an average of 56 liters per year, slightly more than a bottle a week.

Not all microstates are inclined towards the vine. Andorra, the tiny state sandwiched between France and Spain in the Pyrenees mountains, only consumes 46 litres per person. St Pierre and Miquelon - a collection of French islands off the coast of Canada - only down 44 litres per capital.

Economics may also play into it, as the Vatican is supplied with almost all its wine nearly entirely tax free from a single supermarket.

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