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 Filed as : Wine Tips

The United States of Winos

Sep 9, 2011
The United States of Winos
The capital’s other spending habit

american_flag_wine_glassIt’s no secret that California, New York, Washington State, and Oregon make most of the wine produced in the U.S.* But ever wonder which states drink the most of it? The list of heavy sippers may (or may not) surprise you:

State (Per Capita Consumption 2009 in gallons)**
• District of Columbia (6.6)
• New Hampshire (4.8)
• Massachusetts (4.1)
• Vermont (4.1)
• Nevada (3.8)
• Connecticut (3.6)
• Delaware (3.6)
• New Jersey (3.6)
• Rhode Island (3.4)
• California (3.4)
• Hawaii (3.4)

Income appears to be the best predictor for wine consumption. With the exception of Vermont (in 22nd place), these states all rank in the top 20 for median household income. New Hampshire (1), Connecticut (2), and New Jersey (4) are in the top five.***

However, most of these states happen to drink heartily in general. With the exception of Connecticut, California, and New Jersey, each ranks in the top 18 for alcohol consumption per capita.

Why is D.C. so far ahead of the pack? Foreign embassies and their ample entertaining budgets may explain this outlier. Nevada probably ranks higher than expected too because casinos are liberal with their “free” beverages.

So, no, Washington doesn’t seem to be drinking your tax dollars, however much they might be tempted to.

Which states did you expect to consume the most wine? Share it below.

*U.S. Department of the Treasury Alcohol Tax and Tobacco Trade Bureau **Beer Institute
***U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Survey, 2008, 2009, and 2010 Annual Social and Economic Supplement

Previous Sip

Vino à la Illinois
Around Napa Valley in 80 Sips in San Francisco

Dec 30, 2011
I missed this article in Sept; have a question about how "consumption" is defined. Is the number derived from the total bottles sold at retail direct to the consumer plus bottles actually consumed in restaurants within each state? If bottles sold is the criteria, I would argue that a large percentage of bottles "sold" in tax free NH are consumed in wine-unfriendly, higher taxed MA. I know many collectors living in MA who have their CA winery direct to consumer purchases shipped to NH; but consumed in MA.

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Sep 9, 2011
I would think that if you put this just in large Metropolitan areas and not states.. or shall we say "Districts" you might find California comes up higher in LA, SF or Sacramento I think a city focus wine consumption might be a better statistically than something as unique as DC. California has such a diverse population. NY, Chicago, SF, LA, DC Miami, Houston, Denver, Seattle would be a better comparison

1 out of 1 people thought this note was helpful.

Sep 12, 2011
Well argued point. I'd be pretty surprised if SF and
NYC weren't ahead of DC.

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