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News Summary: Italy looks abroad for wine sales

The Associated Press

VINO SLIPPING: Italian vintners are looking abroad for buyers as wine-drinking in Italy, one of the world's biggest producers, is hitting record lows.

BEER GAINS: The most immediate cause has been the economic downturn. But that has just accelerated a decades-long slide in consumption. Italians' change of attitude is going hand in hand with the increasing popularity of other, more casual alcoholic drinks — above all, beer, particularly among the young.

NEW MARKETS: With interest ebbing at home, more than 50 percent of Italian wine is currently exported, up from 28 percent in 2000. The biggest buyers are the United States and Germany. But sales are rising quickly in many new markets. In China, for example, they rose by almost a fifth from 2011 to 2012.