For this week's Thirsty Thursday, some exciting news for American wine fans. Though we continue to trail many countries in terms of per capita consumption of wine, the United States consumed the largest quantity of wine in the world last year. Americans guzzled a shocking 330 million cases of wine, pushing us ahead of France who previously held the record. Of those cases, 61% of our wine originated in California (nice job keeping it local!). The estimated value of all that wine comes to $30 billion, an increase of 4% from 2009. Notably, exports of U.S. wine also jumped more than 25%, suggesting the rest of the world has begun to acquire an appreciation of American wines. Exports now make up $1.14 billion in winery revenue. Sales of sparkling wines and champagne increased more than 10% last year, and now account for 4.6% of all sales. This suggests people tend to consume those beverages more often, no longer saving them for special occasions. Just a couple of decades ago, many Americans did not consume any wine on a regular basis and the country had no international reputation. A pretty incredible transformation has occurred since then. A funny aside: This table shows the amount of wine consumption per capita across the world. Currently number one on that list: the Vatican? Raise a glass to the thriving wine industry!