Wine facts and trivia, Part Two 2-28-2024

More interesting facts and trivia about wine:

• World wine production averages around 6.5 billion gallons a year.

• Portugal has the most wine consumption in the world at 13.7 gallons per person per year.

• Italy drinks 12.3 gallons, France 12.2, Switzerland 9.4, Austria 7.9, Australia 7.3, Argentina 7.3, Germany 7.3, Sweden 7.1, Netherlands 6.4, Spain 6.3.

• Although the U.S. consumes more wine than any other country, we rank 16th in the world in per-person consumption at 3.2 gallons. Russia is next at 2.3 gallons.

• Wine is produced in all 50 states in the U.S.

• There are four wineries in Alaska. There is very little wine grape production, so wineries mostly import juice for grape-based wine, but they also make wine using Alaska-grown blueberries, strawberries, and rhubarb.

• California produces 85% or more of U.S. wine—685 million gallons a year.

• Washington State is the second-most U.S. wine producer with 36 million, followed by New York State with 28.5 million, Oregon with 11 million, Texas with 4.3 million, Michigan with 2.8 million, North Carolina with 2.4 million, Virginia with 2.4 million, Illinois with 2.4 million, and Pennsylvania with 2.2 million.

• There are 269 American Viticultural Areas (AVA) in 34 states. Augusta, Missouri, was the first, in 1980. The number of AVAs steadily increases, so the count likely is higher since the last survey.

• Eighty-five percent of the grapes must be grown in the AVA to include the designation on the label, and the wine must be produced in the AVA.

• Ninety-five percent of the grapes must be grown in the same year to include a vintage date on the label.

• In 2022, wine’s value to the U.S. economy was estimated to be $275 billion.

• The U.S. wine industry employs 1.8-2 million people, with a wage impact of $96 billion.

• There are 50 million wine tourists visits in the U.S. each year, and they spend $17 billion.

• The U.S. wine industry pays close to $16 billion in federal taxes and $16 billion in state and local taxes each year.

Tasting notes:

• Herdade do Esporão Monte Velho White, Vinho Regional Alentejano, Portugal 2021: Balanced, elegant. Excellent alternative to quality chardonnay at half the chard cost. $11-12 Link to my review

• Ferrari-Carano Chardonnay, Sonoma County 2021: Rich, round, smooth-creamy, buttery, built to please from initial attack through medium-length finish. $16-20 Link to my review

• Three Sticks Origin Durell Vineyard Chardonnay, Sonoma Coast 2021: Rich, complex, vibrant from high-quality vineyard. Mouthwatering, fresh. A stunning wine. $70-73 Link to my review

Last round: There is no one quite as clever as someone who has opinions you agree with. Wine time.