Canadians Love Wine More

While beer remains the alcoholic drink of choice of Canadians, wine has been gaining consistently over the last ten years, according to the latest figures from Statistic Canada. Between 1997 and 2007, the market share for beer has gone down from 52% to 47%, while wine increased its share from 21% to 28% (spirits went down slightly, from 27% to 25%, over the same period).

The trend seems to be accelerating, too. Between 2006 and 2007, the value of wine sold in Canada increased by 9.5%, while volumes vent up 7.1%. So Canadians are drinking more wine (61% red), and apparently spending a little more per bottle to get some good stuff.

In terms of per capita consumption, Canadians are now drinking around 15 liters per person per year – compared to over 50 in France, and over 30 on average in Western Europe – with Quebecers leading the way at 20 liters per person per year. A closer look at the data, thanks to StatCan’s online tools, also shows that Quebec’s “lead” in wine culture and consumption is only increasing: per capita consumption increased 55% in Quebec from 1998 to 2007, while the Canadian average is 40%, with only 30 percent in Ontario and 23% in British Columbia.

In 2007, Quebec purchased 34% of all wine sold in Canada, and 42% of all red wine sold in the country, even as it represents less than a quarter of the population. Talk about cultural differences.

It is intriguing, however, that the two main producing provinces, BC and Ontario, are not seeing wine take a greater place in the glasses of their residents. I don’t know. Maybe they’re just not liking the Cellared in Canada wines all that much…

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