Wine consumption in Russia has dropped to 5 liters per person a year. During Soviet times, it amounted to 20 liters. In Western European countries, the per-capita consumption of wine totals from 35 to 60 liters a year. These data were delivered on Thursday at the press conference connected to the opening of the First International Scientific and Practical Conference on Alcoholic Drink Market in Russia on November 6th in Moscow. According to conference organizers, until 1985, the Soviet Union was second in the world in terms of the total area covered with grapevines and third in wine production. After the notorious anti-alcohol campaign under Soviet Leader Mikhail Gorbachev, when most valuable types of grapevines were eliminated, the area of vine fields significantly reduced. Today, the cheapest bottle of wine in Russia costs twice as much as a bottle of vodka. Only a small number of people can afford to buy wine. The quality of wine delivered to Russia, especially from the former Soviet republics, is rather poor. The vast majority of wine and cognac is forged and cannot by far be compared to the quality of those drinks available in the Soviet times. About 200 experts from Russia, Austria, Argentina, Belarus, United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Ukraine, the Czech Republic, and South Africa will take part in the conference.
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