If such wine-based drinks such as Boone's Farm and Mad Dog 20/20 are included, no doubt the U S of A would have taken the top spot a long time ago.
"The United States became the world's biggest market for wine last year, beating France into second place for the first time as consumption slides in the country long seen as its natural home and Americans develop a greater taste for it.
U.S. consumers bought 29.1 million hectoliters of wine in 2013, a rise of 0.5 percent on 2012, while French consumption fell nearly 7 percent to 28.1 million hectolitres, the International Vine and Wine organization OIV said on Tuesday.
Though the study does state that, "U.S. drinkers are, however, still way behind in terms of consumption per head," wine consumption is clearly on the rise. Several trends account for the rise of wine consumption in the US and the fall of wine consumption in France and throughout wine-producing countries in Europe.
France is still - far and away - the leading producer of wine in terms of tonnage and hectoliters produced, and still consumes much more on a per capita basis.
Given that France and wine are still so intimately, deeply and intrinsically linked, there is little worry that these results will have too much of an impact on overall wine markets. For the US, these findings only reinforce that our enjoyment of wine continues to grow - and that is likely due to the rise in wine regions around the country, a boom in winemaking in other New World regions, and a chipping away of the notion that wine is the preferred drink of foppish, effete snobs and old ladies.
As wine continues to be enjoyed and produced in greater quantity and quality throughout the US, hopefully, more and more people will develop a taste and appreciation for wines of all different styles and prices.
The only real barrier is the patchwork collection of Prohibition-era regulations throughout the different states that severely restrict access and choice of wine for their residents... Pennsylvania, I am again looking at you and your notion that a panel of state functionaries should be the be all and end all when it comes to what wines may be bought and sold in your state. This ridiculously insulting practice must end.
Back off the soapbox now, and another huzzah for wine consumption in the Untied States, and France, I still love you, too.