The figures show that residents of the Vatican consume 74 litres of wine on average – roughly equivalent to 105 bottles over the course of a year.
That’s around double the amount drunk by the average person in France or Italy as a whole, and triple the quantity consumed in the UK.
There is no denying that the population of the Vatican represents an unusual, and rather uniform, demographic.
As well as the occupational hazard of being required to take ceremonial Communion wine, the National Catholic Reporter said Vatican residents are more likely to be old, male, highly educated and eat in larger groups – all factors that can contribute to greater wine consumption.
These aspects of the Vatican’s national character are more likely to put it at the top than simply its size alone – though other so-called microstates also featured prominently in the Wine Institute’s list.
The fact that it only has a population of around 800 people does make it easy for per-capita figures to be distorted by outlying groups, however – and in the Vatican there is reportedly a single supermarket supplying everyone with wine almost completely tax-free.