We know that feeling of finishing a long day of work, meeting up with some friends and enjoying a happy hour drink or two with friends. It’s the same feeling Italians have, when they meet up in one of the local squares and begin their tradition of “aperitivo” with a glass of wine. Italy is known for its social scene and of course its wine. If you’ve ever been you’ll know that a drink and chat among friends is almost a necessary daily ritual, and you will also know that Italians aren’t as keen on the cocktail culture as much as Americans are. Their drink of choice over chat is usually a glass of sparkling wine or a full-bodied red. So, you’d think with all this socializing, Italy would outrank Americans in terms of wine consumption. Think again! Studies show that Americans actually drink more wine than Italians do!
In fact, as of recently Italian wine is some of the most imported in the United States, which is one of the largest consumer markets of this Mediterranean nectar. It seems that millennials may be catching onto European ways, opting for a a glass of sparkling wine or Chianti Classico over the hyped-up cocktail. Sales in sparkling wines and Italian reds have increased, leaving popular American labels such as Cupcake and Beringer at a loss.
The United States has earned its rank of largest market of wine drinkers in the world, followed by France and then Germany according to OIV (Organization of Vine and Wine). But where does this leave Italy. Well not to worry about our Italian friends – they are doing more than well with wine production and sales at all-time highs. As for consumption, it is true that Italians are drinking less than usual but for good reason! They are drinking better. Italians are spending more on their wines and drinking less quantity, all the while increasing quality. They are always a step ahead when it comes to wine culture! Gone are the days when any old bottle will do on the dinner table. Italians are now interested in purchasing labels with a guarantee such as the DOC (Denomination of Origin) and DOCG (Denomination of Controlled Origin) as well as Reserve wines – all characteristics of some of Italy’s Super Tuscans.
So, where does this leave American wine drinkers? In a good spot. Italians are paving the way for USA’s newest trends so keep your eyes open for Super Tuscans.