Sask. not a hotbed of wine lovers, StatsCan says
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People in Saskatchewan appear to be dedicated beer drinkers, spending less on wine than just about anybody in the country, Statistics Canada says.
According to the a recent report from the federal agency, Saskatchewan spent $706.70 (per capita, residents over 15) on booze last year, just slightly below the national average.
When it comes to their alcoholic beverage of choice, Saskatchewan folk spend most of their dollars on beer.
But as for wine, it's a different story.
According to the federal agency, Saskatchewan people spent $103.30 per capita on wine in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2013.
That's dead last of all the provinces — less than half the Canadian average of $233.90 and less than a third of the $339.20 spent in Quebec.
However, that may be changing, as the market for wine has been growing at a quick pace.
According to David Morris, a spokesman for the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority, sales of wine — by volume — increased by 28 per cent in the last five years.
As of the most recent date for statistics, the fiscal year 2012-2013, Saskatchewan wine sales added up to 6.4 million litres.
"Wine really has taken off in the last five years," Morris told CBC News, adding that the dollar value of sales has grown even more, by 37 per cent, reflecting purchases of more high-end wines. "[Consumers are buying] more wine and better, more expensive wines."
Despite those increases, beer continues to dominate. Beer sales account for 48 per cent of all alcohol sales in the province, Morris said, outpacing wine by a margin of over three to one.
"In Saskatchewan, we're primarily beer drinkers," Morris said. "Beer is the product of choice."
Megan Toews, who sells high-end beer and wine at Ingredients Artisan Market in Saskatoon, would tend to agree.
"We're natural born beer drinkers," Toews suggested in an interview with CBC Radio host Dan Kerslake. "Another thing is, beer is really easy-going and laid back. So I think it speaks to the people of Saskatchewan and how we are. We're unpretentious and beer [is] very unpretentious and I think that's why we gravitate towards it more."
Had your fill yet? Why not have some fun with our short quiz, based on the information from StatsCanada.