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Crisis brings down Italian wine drinking to record low

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Wine-drinking in Italy has reached record lows thanks to the economic crisis and changing consumer habits, according to a report by the country's main farmers' association released on Saturday.

Consumption has plummeted by 22 percent over the past decade to its lowest level since the 19th century, with sales falling by two percent between 2011 and 2012 alone, the report by Coldiretti found.

Italians drank a total of 22.6 million hectolitres of wine in 2012, compared to 29.0 million hectolitres in the United States and 30.3 million in France.

An online survey also by Coldiretti found that 32 percent of respondents said they only drank wine on special occasions, 18 percent said they would have one or two glasses a week and six percent said they never drank any wine.

"The wine sector has suffered the gravest crisis in the food and drinks industry in terms of domestic consumption but has become a leader of Made in Italy production by directing itself toward exports," Coldiretti said.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130406/crisis-brings-down-italian-wine-drinking-record-low