Thursday, April 7, 2011


I was disappointed to learn last year that the United States ranked 20th out of 148 nations in happiness based on research conducted by sociologist Ruut Veenhoven, Director of the World Database of Happiness. Now that we are the world’s largest wine consuming nation, I suggest Ruut reexamine his research.

Read On:
According to Gomberg, Fredrikson, America’s oldest wine industry consultants, the United States has passed France in wine consumption for the first time. We are officially number one in the world in wine shipments. Hopefully our happiness ranking should improve as a result.

Wine shipments increased 2 percent to 329.7 million cases into U.S. trade channels last year compared to 320.6 million cases for France. This growth can be attributed to the size of our population (311 million which is five times the size of France’s), as well as the evolution of the wine and cheese culture among young Americans. However, the French still surpass Americans in per capita consumption of wine – 12 gallons/year vs. 2-1/2 gallons/year respectively.

FYI: The World Database of Happiness ranks Costa Rica as the number one happiest nation. Does anyone know what they are drinking?


  1. Jimmy, Costa Ricans drink good ol' beer, and a local drink, guaro...I suspect the guaro creates more happiness :)

    Maybe it's not the alcohol consumption that creates happiness-maybe it's the understanding that life is short, material possessions are meaningless, and a sunny day cures everything.

    I would venture a guess that the rise in U.S. wine importation has affected the more expensive wines, correct? I can't imagine Americans are hot to import gallons of Boone's Farm.

  2. Lots of beer...and rum. Good rum. Mmmmmm.... makes me want to go back right now. Seriously, your statistics might be skewed by the fact that SOME wine sold in the US is fairly crappy (boxed and the like). Its a cheap buzz, as an antidote to this nation's UNhappiness. So it would seem.

  3. Jimmy,

    What is interesting is the per capita consumption vs. France. Imagine how unhappy we would be if each American consumed 12 gallons of wine per year a year (along with beer and distilled beverages).

    Russia, reputed as a happy place, is reported to have a problem with vodka consumption, while Ireland, always a dour place, consumes half of the Guinness that is brewed there...the rest is exported.

    I think the life average life expectancy in France and Ireland is higher than the US. So the answer may be to focus on living a longer, unhappy life by consuming more.

  4. Really now. Do you believe Costa Rican's happiness stems from drinking? I'd say it may have do with sun, warmth and sex!

    As far as linking alcohol consumption with happiness, even if it's wine, I believe there a sizeable argument that drinking reflects unhappiness.

  5. Fun comments. Thank you. I was just trying to lighten things up a touch. I did field an off line comment where one individual wanted to know how one can become the Director of the World Database of Happiness. Not sure, but I do know McD's is hiring on 4/19.