Recently, the American Association of Wine Economists published on their Facebook page some data (here and here) showing the annual wine consumption per capita in the USA, both in 2005 and in 2014. Recalculating these data shows that there was, on average, a 13% increase in wine consumption per person between these two years, for the country as a whole.
However, this is only part of the picture, as we all know that wine consumption will not have increased equally among all of the states. So, I have plotted the state-by-state data in the graph below. Here, each of the points represents a particular state, with its location on the axes representing consumption (liters per person) in 2005 (horizontally) and 2014 (vertically). If the consumption per capita was the same in both years then the points would lie along the pink line; and if they are above the line then the consumption was greater in 2014 than in 2005.
The graph shows that the biggest boozers are in the District of Columbia. Indeed, the per person consumption in DC is more than double that of fully 37 of the states. This may explain some of the decisions that come out of Washington.
DC is followed a long way back by New Hampshire, followed even further back by Vermont and Massachusetts. For comparison, a couple sharing a bottle of wine per week would consume 20 liters per adult per year, which is equivalent to 15 liters per capita (given that 25% of the population is below drinking age). The graph shows that only DC, NH, VT and MA exceed this annual level (ie. the top four points in the graph).
For 20 of the states the annual wine consumption increased between 2005 and 2014 by more than 1 liter per person — the dotted lines on the graph indicate plus/minus 1 liter per person. The biggest increases were in Vermont, followed by Massachusetts, New Jersey and New Hampshire. Of these, only Vermont was a long way above the average increase.
None of the states had a decrease in annual consumption of more than 1 liter per person. However, three of the states were a long way below the average increase (ie. much less than +13%): Delaware, Colorado and Nevada.
These results seem to be quite good for the wine industry. As Charles Olken says: "Phew. Thank goodness" (Americans are turning away from wine ~~ No, they are not. Yes, they are). Nevertheless, almost all Americans drink much less than a bottle of wine per week; so there is much room for improvement.