Happy Fourth of July, time when all Americans celebrate in harmonious accord our separation from England.
Except when we don’t. Even the date caused controversy. John Adams, who was there when the declaring deed was done, wrote: “The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America.”
The Declaration is dated July 4th because that is when Congress approved the document Adams wrote about and helped write two days earlier. The actual document, according to most sources, was signed on August 2.
What does this have to do with wine? It demonstrates there are conflicting claims on just about everything.
Take wine production in the United States. There is no question California dominates the field, or vineyard if you will, with 89 percent-plus. New York follows with some 3.6 percent, then Washington state with 3.3 percent, then Oregon with almost 1 percent.
It gets tricky after that. Texas claims to be No. 5. Turns out Kentucky, Florida, New Jersey, Michigan, North Carolina, Virginia, Ohio, Missouri, Pennsylvania, and Indiana also make such a claim.
A lot of folks, each with something like one-quarter of one percent of U.S. wine production, are chanting: “We’re Number Five! We’re Number Five!”
The most solid claim: Montana with .002 percent. They safely exclaim: “We’re Number Fifty!”
Bottom line, America today is the land of the free and the home of wine drinkers. In fact, we recently became the world’s Number One wine drinking country, based on amount of wine consumed.
Wine consumption per person—different story. The leading country in that category is, whoa, Vatican City State—although the statistic is result of a small population (around 800) and a lot of liturgical wine used in religious services for visiting Catholic faithful.
Among large countries, France, Italy, and Portugal are the largest consumers per person. They make some pretty good wine there, too.
The United Kingdom? Brits drink more than twice as much wine per person than Americans. No doubt trying to forget about the Fourth of July. Or Second of July. Or Second of August.