Benjamin Franklin is known to have said that wine is constant proof that God loves us and loves to see us happy.
Which I think is wise... and might explain, in part, what follows:
Tiny Vatican City consumes more wine per capita than any other country in the world, according to information from the California-based Wine Institute.
According to the Wine Institute’s latest statistics, the Vatican consumed 74 liters of wine per person, around double the per-capita consumption of Italy as a whole. A standard bottle of wine is about .75 liters.
And while some of that consumption is clearly related to ceremonial Communion wine, Italian press reports say it’s more likely because Vatican residents are older (the lack of children are figured into the statistics), are overwhelmingly male, are highly educated and tend to eat communally — all factors that tend to lead toward higher wine consumption.
Another factor: the Vatican’s small size that makes it easy for per-capita figures to be distorted by the activities of a small group, or in the case of the Vatican, a single supermarket that sells wines almost tax-free.
There could be plenty of other reasons for the statistics but I frankly think that Mr. Franklin was right.