Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Drinking Wine in Amsterdam !

Having recently returned from a trip to Amsterdam, visiting relatives and a wine tour of Alsace, it has been difficult getting back into the swing of my normal routine. Met with my panel to taste 7 just released delightful wines from the Starling Lane winery and getting ready to taste 12 Rose wines for my next newsletter. And of course wading through all the e-mails and answering as many as possible. I fully intend to share pictures and experiences of my trip in the next few posts. I read with interest, Alder Yarrow's post over at Vinography on wine consumption statistics and thought that would be a good starting point. So I looked at the pdf posted on his site from TDA ( Trade Data and Analysis ) on his site and scrolled down to the Netherlands. The average liters per capita for the Dutch in 2008 was 21.68. Surprisingly that great nation of wine consumers, the United Kingdom, consumed somewhat less than the Dutch with 19.14 liters per capita. There are no silly regulations and restrictions on selling wine in Holland and it is available in grocery stores and great little wine shops everywhere. The picture of De Ware Jacob is an example of one of them, located a 3 minute walk away from my cousin's home on the Keizersgracht.
(Click on the pic)
Its difficult to translate accurately but
' De Ware Jacob' means 'the real Jacob' and is an expression used when a woman has found 'the' real man of her life. The shop was originally owned by a Jacob and after his death his widow continued to run the shop until the new owner took over.

Let me tell you, we did our best to raise the national average during my visit. But while we are at this location, kitty corner from the wine shop is an incredible chocolate shop owned by Mireille, the exuberant and gracious daughter of my cousin. Her shop, 't Goede Soet, at 95 Keizersgracht is a must visit while you are in Amsterdam. 't Goede Soet translates into the Good Sweet and is a chocolate lovers paradise. Google it and see some of the great reviews.

Meanwhile back to statistics. The average consumption for Canada is listed as 12.24 liters per capita but according to Statistics Canada, the official Government of Canada branch that carries out surveys, the national average is 13.1. The Yukon territory leads the way with 18.3 but what else would you do on those long winter days in Canada's great northern white? Second place goes to the province of Quebec with an average consumption of 17.4. Could that be because of its historic ties with France? Once again I am happy to report that I am doing my share of wine consumption in the province of British Columbia which ties down third place with an annual consumption of 14.5. Our burgeoning wine industry would account for that. Newfoundland and Labrador come in 11th place with 6.5 and dead last is Saskatchewan with only 5 liters per capita. Of course they do enjoy their beer. Finally our neighbours to the south of us are working on their annual consumption with a 9.68 liters per capita. But with wine becoming much more a part of our North American culture I would expect these figures to increase in the coming years. As they say in Dutch 'tot ziens' or farewell or until we meet again. Lets all do our share to help the economy and raise the national average.

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