A couple of years ago, I wrote a post detailing some common misconceptions about wine -- average price, how much Americans drink, and the like. For some reason, I never updated it, which I'm fixing now. Check out the left side panel, and you'll see this item: Six things you probably don't know about wine, with an overview of U.S. wine consumption in 2010. It will be there until I update it for 2011.
The post answers some important questions: the average price of a bottle wine (yes, it's less than $10); how many Americans drink (not enough); the most popular varietal sold in the U.S. (probably not what you think); how big wine companies are (very big); and whether we buy wine to save for later (again, probably not what you think).
A couple of thoughts about the post. The information surprises me, and I make my living stuyding these facts and figures, so don't be surprised at what you see. It's not as if this stuff is widely reported. Second, despite all the media hoopla over the past couple of years, we're still not a wine-drinking country. Hence my crusade to make wine as simple as possible, so that it's not easier to reach for Dr Pepper. Third, the wine business in the U.S., based on the average price of a bottle of wine, is one of the few businesses I've ever seen that seems geared toward ignoring its best customers.