How many bottles of wine are there in the world?

Ask Dr Vinny

Hello there! I'm Dr. Vinifera, but you can call me Vinny. Ask me your toughest wine questions, from the fine points of etiquette to the science of winemaking. And don't worry, I'm no wine snob—you can also ask me those "dumb questions" you're too embarrased to ask your wine geek friends! I hope you find my answers educational, empowering and even amusing. And don't forget to check out my most asked questions and my full archives for all my Q&A classics.

Dear Dr. Vinny,

While I was drinking a bottle of wine recently, my 7-year-old stepdaughter quizzically asked, “How many bottles of wine are there in the world?” So—for the kids—how many bottles of wine are there in the world? (An approximate number is acceptable.)

—R.V., Nijmegen, Netherlands

Dear R.,

Sure, anything for the kids.

It’s easiest to answer the question by converting everything into standard 750ml bottle sizes. In that case, according to the very smart folks at our sister publication Market Watch, 31.4 billion bottles are bought and sold worldwide every year. And according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the equivalent of 36 billion bottles of wine are produced worldwide each year.

That still doesn’t tell us how many bottles are in actual existence—just because a bottle is bought or sold doesn’t mean it’s been drunk, and we don’t know how many bottles are resting on wine shop shelves, let alone in people’s cellars. And though we’re choosing to convert the volume of wine out there into standard-size bottles, the truth is that wine is also sold in boxes, Tetra Paks and even casks, for wines on tap.

So I’ll leave you with that information and let you decide what to tell the kids. An approximate number is acceptable.

—Dr. Vinny

Packaging Ask Dr. Vinny

More In Dr. Vinny

If a cork gets pushed into a wine bottle, is the wine ruined?

Wine Spectator's expert Dr. Vinny puts a reader's fears to rest and offers tips for how to …

May 24, 2019

How do you clean wineglasses to a spot-free, clear shine?

Wine Spectator's expert Dr. Vinny offers tips for cleaning fine stemware.

May 22, 2019

What does the word “unctuous” mean in a wine tasting note?

Wine Spectator's expert Dr. Vinny explains the term "unctuous," typically ascribed to …

May 20, 2019

Are collectible wines still collectible after the wine has gone bad?

Wine Spectator's expert Dr. Vinny talks to Penfolds winemaker Peter Gago about 50-year-old …

May 17, 2019

Why aren't bottles stored on their sides at wine stores?

Wine's Spectator's expert Dr. Vinny explains why wine bottles need to be stored on their …

May 15, 2019

Is there a polite way to tell a winemaker that I'm not enjoying their wines?

Wine Spectator's expert Dr. Vinny suggests a few etiquette tips for kindly declining an …

May 13, 2019
WineRatings+

WineRatings+

Xvalues

Xvalues

Restaurant Search

Restaurant Search