Increasing wine consumption makes Canadian market more attractive

Robert Mondavi Cabernet Savignon, (Supplied)

Robert Mondavi Cabernet Savignon, (Supplied)

Christopher Waters, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:56 AM ET

Canadians are expected to enjoy more and better wine as our thirst for fermented grape juice continues to increase.

In the lead-up to its trade fair in Bordeaux, France this June, Vinexpo commissioned a detailed report on the world’s wine and spirits consumption that revealed Canadians go through 15 litres of wine per capita, or roughly 100 glasses per year.

Canadian consumption reached 43.21 million cases in 2011, with one case representing 12 bottles.

It’s a tiny amount compared to France and Italy’s appetite, where roughly 50 litres per person is the norm. Surprisingly, that number represents less than a glass of wine a day. It’s a far cry from the 120 litres per person that France recorded in the 1960s.

The stereotypical Frenchman and woman having a glass of wine every night with dinner clearly no longer holds true. Increased interest in health matters, stricter drunk driving laws and other changes have led to the decline.

Of course, wine consumption rates are misleading because a small segment of the population consumes a disproportionately large volume of wine. But it is clear that more interest and awareness in wine in Canada is seeing an increase in consumption.

The Vinexpo report suggests that Canada’s consumption rate is growing three times faster than the global average and our nation is set to become the world’s fifth fastest growing market for wine, behind China, the United States, Russia and Germany. Expect more international producers to target our markets. With declining markets at home, French, Italian and Spanish producers will be increasingly looking to sell wine elsewhere.

Other highlights of the report include that Italy has taken over from France as our leading wine supplier and that American, Chilean and Spanish wines increased their market share during the five year period of the study, from 2007 to 2011.

Wines of the Week:

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Bonterra Vineyards 2010 Organically Grown Cabernet Sauvignon, Mendocino County/Lake County, California

BC $19.99 (342428) | AB $20 | MB $19.99 (342428) | ON $18.95 (342428)

A leader in organic grape growing, which excludes the use of artificial chemical fertilizers, pesticides and the like, Bonterra offers a robust Cabernet with loads of earthy complexity. There’s a rustic edge to this rich red that adds to its appeal. Its hearty structure and a polished texture make it a winning match for grilled or roast meats.

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Robert Mondavi Winery 2010 Private Selection Cabernet Sauvignon, California

BC $15.99 (392225) | MB $19 (392225) | ON $17.95 (392225)

Here’s a youthful Cabernet with good grip and flavour. Chocolate and cedar notes add interest to the red fruit aromas and flavours. Its dry character would be best appreciated with a meal. Enjoy with burgers or some other juicy grilled beef dish.


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