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

Once chilled, must a wine stay chilled? Is it ruined if it warms up again?

Wine Spectator's expert Dr. Vinny debunks the myth that wine shouldn't be chilled and then …

Jun 27, 2022

Does Pinot Noir come in both red and white versions? Are they the same grape?

Wine Spectator's expert Dr. Vinny explains how red wines get their color. (Hint: It's not …

Jun 22, 2022

If you're supposed to hold a wineglass by the stem, why are stemless glasses so popular?

Wine Spectator's resident wine expert Dr. Vinny explains the pros and cons of stemless …

Jun 13, 2022

How much do our taste buds influence our perception of wine?

Wine Spectator's resident wine expert Dr. Vinny explains how taste sensitivity impacts our …

Jun 6, 2022

What's the shelf life of a box of wine?

Wine Spectator's resident wine expert, Dr. Vinny, explains why box wines aren't meant to …

May 31, 2022

Should I refill my own wineglass, or ask the host or server to?

Wine Spectator's expert Dr. Vinny explains the etiquette or wine service, for hosts and for …

May 23, 2022