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Winebits 259: Wine consumption edition

French wine consumption declines again: But they still drink more than the rest of us, something that tends not to show up in these stories. A five-year study by a French agriculture ministry agency found that French adults drink more than six bottles of wine a month, down from about 18 in 1965. By comparison, the average American drinks about one bottle a month. Why have the French cut down? They’re “increasingly cautious about products that are dangerous in excessive quantities,” said a ministry spokeswoman.

English buying less wine: By two percent over a year ago, according to figures from a British trade group. This is an amazing statistic, given Britain’s long history as a wine drinking nation, and it shows just how deep and difficult the recession has been there. A report spokesman did not hedge his comments: “Overall, the latest market report shows that consumers are continuing to tighten their belts and shop around for the best value in these tough economic times.”

Wine.com customers love their Cristalino: It was second most ordered wine from the Internet retailer in 2012, and this was the sixth consecutive time it made Wine.com’s top 100 sales list. This does not surprise the Wine Curmudgeon, long a Cristalino fan, though it may surprise many in the business who keep waiting for wine prices to increase. In fact, the top 10 list was headed by an $8 Columbia Crest wine, and two or three wines on the list were really expensive.

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