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Number of Italians regularly drinking wine declines

The number of Italians drinking wine every day dropped by 400,000 between 2022 and 2023, according to data from the Unione Italiana Vini (UIV).

According to the data, compiled by the Italian National Institute of Statistics (ISTAT), the number of Italians who drink wine remained the same between 2022 and 2023, sitting at around 29.4 million – around 55% of the overall population, a 2% increase on the proportion from 2011.

However, what has declined is the number of Italians drinking wine every day, dropping to 11.7m – 400,000 fewer than was the case in 2022.

The 17.7m wine drinkers who don’t consume it on a daily basis represent 60% of all wine drinkers in Italy – in 2011 this group only made up 48% of the total.

Lamberto Frescobaldi, president of both Gruppo Marchesi Frescobaldi and the UIV, commented that the data was indicative of a significant cultural shift: “The new ISTAT findings confirm once again the extraordinary relationship of Italians with wine: habits change, but the current approach is probably even more stimulating than that of the past. Today, the demand is more linked to pleasure and sharing than to habit, and I think this is an important proof of maturity that confirms how wine is synonymous with moderation.”

Women in particular are reportedly drinking less wine, with the UIV claiming that they are more eagerly embracing other drinks categories, and younger people are also, as is well documented, drinking less. Indeed, the older demographic has proved something of a stronghold when it comes to wine consumption, with 40% of regular drinkers over the age of 65.

Perhaps surprisingly, though daily consumption has declined, the proportion of Italians partaking in aperitivo has increased by 31% since 2011, with around 22 million people regularly partaking in a pre-dinner cocktail, beer, or other drink. The seemingly unstoppable rise of the Aperol Spritz in particular, boosted by marketing focused on the aperitivo lifestyle, may have significantly contributed to this phenomenon.

As for the Italian regions with the highest proportion of wine drinkers, Emilia-Romagna, the home of Lambrusco, leads the way with 61.3%, followed by the country’s smallest region, Valle d’Aosta, at 60.5%, and wine powerhouse Tuscany, at 60.4%. The region to have seen the biggest growth in consumers is Trento, in the north, at +11%, while Basilicata, in the far south, recorded a -9% contraction.

The issue of how to get young people drinking more wine was central to many of the discussions at last year’s Delle Venezie DOC International Forum.

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