Apparently, it's cooler to drink beer in the world's No. 1 wine-producing nation.

Last year, the average Italian consumed 13.6 gallons of wine. Six years ago, it was 14.5 gallons -- nearly half the amount in the 1970s. According to wine critic Jancis Robinson, this is happening in France and Spain, too: "Wine, so much part of tradition and the past in these countries, is seen as an old person's drink, whereas heavily advertised beers and spirits are seen as more youthful and modern," she wrote last year.

Meanwhile, Americans are drinking more Italian wine than ever. Italy is now the world's largest exporter of wine and the No. 1 exporter to the United States.

-- Jessica Yadegaran, Staff


Wine consumption is as Italian as pizza -- but they don’t see it that way anymore.
Wine consumption is as Italian as pizza -- but they don't see it that way anymore. (AP Photo/Pier Paolo Cito)