State (Per Capita Consumption 2009 in gallons)**
• District of Columbia (6.6)
• New Hampshire (4.8)
• Massachusetts (4.1)
• Vermont (4.1)
• Nevada (3.8)
• Connecticut (3.6)
• Delaware (3.6)
• New Jersey (3.6)
• Rhode Island (3.4)
• California (3.4)
• Hawaii (3.4)
Income appears to be the best predictor for wine consumption. With the exception of Vermont (in 22nd place), these states all rank in the top 20 for median household income. New Hampshire (1), Connecticut (2), and New Jersey (4) are in the top five.***
However, most of these states happen to drink heartily in general. With the exception of Connecticut, California, and New Jersey, each ranks in the top 18 for alcohol consumption per capita.
Why is D.C. so far ahead of the pack? Foreign embassies and their ample entertaining budgets may explain this outlier. Nevada probably ranks higher than expected too because casinos are liberal with their “free” beverages.
So, no, Washington doesn’t seem to be drinking your tax dollars, however much they might be tempted to.
*U.S. Department of the Treasury Alcohol Tax and Tobacco Trade Bureau **Beer Institute
***U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Survey, 2008, 2009, and 2010 Annual Social and Economic Supplement